The “Business” Side of a Good Marriage

Let me let you in on a little secret – I dig relationships. Not just mine, but relationships in general. I’m fascinated with how people get along, what exactly makes one person attracted to another? What makes a marriage work and another one fail? Can you fall out of love? Or is that just an excuse to stop trying and/or adapting to relationship changes?

I’ve been married for 20 + years now. (My parents will have been married 46 years on Saturday!! Happy anniversary mom and dad!). Though I’m certainly not an expert, I think it’s safe to say, I have a little experience when it comes to this marriage gig.

I have strong opinions about marriage. In fact, I wrote a whole series of posts on relationships complete with tips on how to make your own relationship work as well as a pretty personal look at my own over the years. (You can always click on the “Love Dare” tab at the top of the page for these relationship posts).

Anyway, there are two relationship blogs that never fail to make me think: Project Happily Ever After and Marriage Gems.

There was an article on Marriage Gems that I found interesting: it’s called Manage Your Marriage Like a Business

Here’s a summary of the article’s points:

  • 1. Know your customer. Stay in tune with your spouse’s changing needs, hopes, and concerns. If you’re not sure what they are, ask.
  • 2. Earn their business every day. Just as you would impress clients with attention and treat them with respect, do the same for your partner.
  • 3. Don’t make excuses. Customers (and spouses) want solutions, not excuses. When you make a mistake, acknowledge your error, and then fix it.
  • 4. Work on a win-win strategy. Regularly ask your spouse, “What can I do to help you be successful?” Then follow through with what they need. Use your planning skills to balance the family’s needs, for example if one spouses is putting their career on hold to raise children.
  • 5. Mix business with pleasure. “We seldom give our spouses the rewarding experiences we give our best customers. Find ways to inject new life into your relationship via activities that have no purpose other than to say, ‘You matter.’”

Would you agree with this assessment? Overall, yes, I would.

I’ve often thought people treated their co-workers/constituents nicer than their spouses. I’ve seen, first hand, how my boss would be super nice to his clients and then just treat his wife like dirt. I’m sure he was tired and taking his frustrations out on her, but I’m also sure that was wrong of him to do.

I’ve also seen spouses treat each other like they were their employee instead of their partners.

We put a lot of energy and thought into our careers, it’s always puzzled me why people don’t put that much energy or thought into their relationships. Yes. It’s work. Yes, it’s HARD work. Yes, one must be willing to admit he/she is wrong and be willing to swallow a humility pill now and again, but the rewards are worth the effort.

To achieve measurable results, simply transfer to your home life the skills you’ve acquired to succeed in your career. You can build or rebuild a strong family dynamic the same way you built your company—with great customer service.


Homework Central

So apparently? I’m not enemy number for one for Dude, at least, not tonight.

Probably because he needed my help on a project for the class he absolutely hates this quarter – meteorology. (He told me he doesn’t hate the subject matter, but rather, all of the work the teacher piles on them. But his counselor DID warn him that it was a hard class, so it’s not like this is a big surprise).

He’s supposed to write a four-page critique on the movie, “Twister,” (which they watched together in class) and put it in an attractive format, complete with graphics. I suggested Microsoft Publisher, showed a few tricks on how to manipulate the template to look like he wanted and suddenly, I’m the boy’s best friend.


He even talked to me a bit tonight.

Don’t worry, I savored every last minute, I assure you.

This project is due tomorrow.

I wonder where he gets the procrastination gene from?

It can’t be me, I never procrastinate. *ahem*

I hope this “good will toward mom” lasts through the weekend, because him, me and Kevin are going to watch Jazz’s band compete in a marching band competition on Saturday and we’ll be stuck in the car together for nearly six long hours (three down there, three back).

The trip will be so much more pleasant if he’s not snarling at me.

Book Corner

Our Boys Could Very Well Be Starting Their Own Business

I got an email from my dad yesterday, he wanted to know if we wanted to try and sell his textbooks, DVD’s and other classroom paraphernalia on my Amazon book store.

(My dad used to write courses for online classes at a vocational school in New York. As a result, he was given a lot of materials so he could do his job and once he was done with them, well, he kept them. Since cleaning out our junk seems to run in the family, he thought he’d unload, er, give them to us so we could possibly make some money on them).

He mentioned this might be a good opportunity for the boys to make some extra money (GREAT idea!!) so I said, “Sure! Kevin and I will be by to pick them up.”

I was expecting a lot because I knew my dad had written a ton of courses over the years, so I suggested to Kevin that we drive his truck over there.

We drove into their driveway and there were about ten bags sitting on the sidewalk. I was a bit surprised, I had expected more. I was also just a wee bit relieved because since we had just cleaned our garage out a few weekends ago, I knew Kevin wouldn’t exactly be thrilled to be cluttering it up again.

My parents came out to greet us and when I said, “Oh. I was sort of expecting more,” followed by a relieved laugh, my mom smiled, opened the door to their house and said, “Actually, that’s not all of it.”

I burst out laughing because there were about twenty MORE bags just inside the doorway.

They did that on purpose! The sneaks! LOL

Between the four of us, we loaded up Kevin’s truck and as you can see? We have just a FEW books to sell here:

ALL of those bags are full of books, DVD’s and various other things that my dad used to write his classes with. Though I’m excited to put them on Amazon and see what sort of monetary value they have, I’m NOT looking forward to cataloging them and storing them.

But like I said, I’m going to talk to the boys about a “business opportunity” and see if they want to take care of it for me. They can sort them, I’ll help them price them (because that takes a little finesse – what are they going for, what sort of shape is the book in, etc)., and then if they sell any? They can run up to the post office, mail them off, and keep the proceeds.

I hope they bite. I think it would be a GREAT business opportunity for them – it would teach them about starting, and running, their own business.

I have some experience with selling textbooks and the few I have sold? Went for boo-coo bucks! Textbooks are insanely expensive, so everyone is looking to third-party vendors to try and find a deal.

Let’s hope they shop mine, or the boys’, shops for those deals.

I’ll let you know if the boys bite, what sort of textbooks are in those bags and where you can find them online in case you’re interested in buying any.

Stay tuned!

Update: At first, the boys were skeptical. After all, I’m talking about potential earnings here, nothing is guaranteed. But when I picked a random textbook from the pile you see in the picture above, inputted the information into my Amazon book store and they saw that they could possibly sell it for $70 bucks? They were suddenly INTO the idea. I told them that if they want to do all of the work, cataloging, storing, packaging, shipping (and this includes driving themselves up to the post office and mailing them), then they can have 100% of the proceeds. However, if I help, like shipping their books for them, then I get a cut. We’ll see how this pans out.

We couldn’t do any cataloging tonight, Dude had a project that was due tomorrow, but we plan on hitting it pretty hard tomorrow night. I plan on taking my laptop out to the garage (thank God for WiFi), and we’ll get started. I’ll likely list a few books on my own Amazon store, but most of the books will likely be listed on the boys’ store. (They decided to open their own shop). I’ll provide a link to their shop when it’s up and running.

This will likely be a slow process. We’re going out of town on Saturday and we won’t likely resume the cataloging process until early Sunday afternoon.