Last Friday, I was on a coaching call with a client. And he wanted my opinion about a business he was starting, but was frustrated that his fiancee wasn’t interested in it and didn’t really care about it. He had hoped it would be something they could both build together. But her nonchalance was wearing him out, as every time he talked about his dreams she would nicely change the subject.
Now he talks to his ex girlfriend about it and she is always so excited to give him new ideas and hear what he has to say, she even accompanied him twice, on a trip to order the merchandise. He insists there’s nothing going on between them except a friendship, but he sometimes wishes she was the one he was about to marry - because her interest in his business/welfare has somehow awoken old feelings.
So I had asked him, if his current fiancee was happy about his business idea. And if they have ever discussed him setting it up. You know like directly asking for her opinion.
He said, she was happy he was doing it. And said it was a great investment that will yield a lot for them, but that was it. No contributions, no real interest and no moral support moving forward.
Now he can’t stop thinking about his ex. But there’s a problem. His mother and sisters love his current fiancee because she’s a quiet timid woman who attends the same family church and is from a nice humble background.
And then confessed that he had actually broken up with this particular ex girlfriend two years ago, when she traveled out of the country for a master certification program - citing she was too ambitious and he needed a nice chilled home buddy for a wife. Hmm.
So here I am thinking to myself...Dang! This reminds me of one of my top trending posts in the #AskAlex Series - In which one of my readers had sent me a question about a similar concern and I had shared my views about the kind of woman for a man, who wants more out of life -- on my Personal Blog.
QUESTION: "Dear Alex, what's your advice to a guy in love, but his woman isn't visionary even though she is very nice and prayerful? I would like for you to write a blog post. Thanks. Peter."
MY ANSWER: Hey Peter, It is true that a Man with DREAMS needs a woman with VISION. In fact I don't know any real couple that can survive the harsh realities of building a relationship or fulfill their life's purpose, if they aren't aware of what they both want to accomplish individually as well as together and how they PLAN to achieve it. As well as active and significant role a woman intends to play, to make her man's dream a REALITY.
AN OLD WAY OF THINKING...
A lot of men think finding the right woman is simply about finding a peaceful prayerful woman. Especially here in Africa.
But haven't you seen pastor wives leave their husbands, or prayer warriors STRUGGLE with relationship dilemmas? Good women on their knees, binding and casting - but the problem still lingers because the solution isn't purely about lighting the devil on FIRE with their tongue, or her cool calm nature.
Its about the practical assertion of the words we read in the holy book, the lessons we learn the hard way and how it not only influences our actions and lifestyle, but translates into productive results for the actual life we want.
So if vision is the act or power to envisage a goal, plan accordingly or anticipate that which may happen or come to be....Then, I'm referring to a woman with clear foresight or insight on how to achieve desired results, or how she can assist or motivate her man to achieve his many goals... whether it is a financial goal, a weight goal, a spiritual goal or even a relationship goal.
A PERSONAL EXAMPLE - Perfection Is A Myth
I remember in 2003, my mother fired one of her staff - Evelyn (not her real name) the best staff she's ever hired for her business...Why? My mother said,
"Evelyn was stealing from my business...And I can’t have her milking me"
Yes, that was true. The late Evelyn was stealing from her, by adding extra money to the original cost of some of the products or services...or sometimes not recording certain transactions or even running a side gig using my mothers factory or resources. Still sales was on the rise...And people loved Evelyn.
I even remember, my father and I incessantly begging my mother to let Evelyn keep the job. She was PERFECT.
Not because we supported stealing. Geez! Why would we support anyone stealing from my mom...Actually from US...because we invested a lot of time in that business too. I personally spent 12 years of my life working with my mother and helping her build it from the ground up. So I certainly didn’t want anyone to come destroy it. But I guess, we saw something she wasn’t seeing.
You see - Perfection is a myth. What are the chances you will find a great employee that is so freaking PERFECT that they tick off all the good on your list (without pulling some hidden surprises)?
Huh? Well, expecting that, is pretty much expecting that life is a beautiful bed of roses with pretty butterflies fluttering around and bees humming a mozart - that perfection somehow exists and there are people out there with no flaws whatsoever. Ha ha ha, right! You see - when we say someone is perfect. Its not because they are exactly perfect. Its really that, we are ready to overlook their imperfection, because we can somehow put up or manage their flaws.
Now - Evelyn was a thief... Yes! A big thief, but a BRILLIANT one. This was a girl who walked in, from a poor background - with little education and no personal style, yet transformed herself into a top sales executive in less than a year...had every contact on her list - And knew how to make people BUY, BUY and Keep BUYING.
Yes, she was stealing from the business, but she also knew how well to make the darn money.
She was a smart cookie - had ideas...a vision of how the business should be run.
She never let anyone owe my mother a penny. She was astute and had an incredible attitude about work, including overtime...She was that driven, ambitious and making so much SALES for my mother that she speedingly grew the business, because she knew that the more sales she made - the more money she could steal, without much suspicion.
THE WRONG DECISION - Value Proposition...
My mother felt hurt, betrayed and focused so much on the little money Evelyn was stealing... that she forgot the plenty PROFIT Evelyn was making for the business. She couldn't bear someone taking what belonged to her and she wanted a loyal prayerful sales person, not anyone as hungry and as ambitious as Evelyn.
A simple person who was comfortable with achieving very little personal goals.
But I remember telling my mother that I would rather have a smart hard working thief - working for me than a DUMB loyal staff. I mean, you don’t cut your nose to spite your face, right?
My point of reasoning was simple. I would rather have 40% of something...than 100% of nothing. I mean, I don't want anyone so unambitious, so dumb that they can't even add a single VALUE to my business.
Yes, I want to trust those who work with me, but you know what, I can trust that a thief is a thief (knowing that is a gift) and I’ll be more than happy to give the thief my meat to keep. A smart indirect way of check mating her.
Moreover, People are only LOYAL to themselves and their NEEDS. Just as long as you can somehow tie your vision to theirs. They will stay. And if they grow...You grow....Everyone is happy.
Of course, my mother fired Evelyn and the business hasn't been the same ever since.
Not because of lack of ideas or hard work but the driving force who stealthily pushed the business to THRIVE in other to make her own personal gain was no longer in the picture.
She left, taking with her - the bold ideas as well as the customers who loved her drive, her ZEAL and work ethics, along with her.
Even though my mother thought, she would be happier and more confident with a loyal prayerful sales rep... She learned the hard way.
All Evelyn's replacements were good people who never stole a PENNY, but the truth is that they hardly ever made any substantial sales, enough to even steal. So what good was it having them there? It didn't matter how many times they fasted for sales to happen, or prayed for customers to come in. They simply didn't have the passion, drive or foresight it took to be a part of the fashion business.
AND THEY SAW IT
Yes, I foresaw the drama ahead. My father did too...but my mother couldn't see what we both knew, would happen...And let's just say at some point it was no longer interesting for either of us in the family to be involved in the business, it was her business and we had our own jobs, our own lives to FOCUS on.
The one staff, we trusted was brilliant enough to take our CREATIVE ideas, apply and fly with it, was no longer there. To us the small stealing aka “tapping” was an extra side commission, she probably used to motivate herself to keep her interest in the business - And we had suggested ways my mother could curb her and monitor her, without actually firing her.
But she didn’t listen and it could have played out differently, if the one with the dream listened to the ones with the foresight (Vision).
And oh, I can assure you that in so many homes, there's nothing romantically fascinating about a person who is either FRUSTRATED with their business or living from hand to mouth.
A NEW WAY OF THINKING...
Now, one of the biggest problems the world has, is that we don't tell ourselves the NAKED TRUTH. A truth devoid of cover ups, lies and limiting beliefs. A truth that enables us to accept imperfection, flaws and challenges and not be ashamed of our vulnerability.
We crave to stand out...Yet, we conform to societal expectations, and try to fit in to standard ideology(s), we have been hard wired to accept, any chance we get.
For example - In Africa, a man will MARRY a woman with the help of his pastor - simply because his pastor says, "That's the one. She's the BETTER one. The prayerful one." Even though, the pastor somehow hasn't factored in other aspects of their lives and what it would actually be like twenty years from now, without his other needs being met.
Christians are getting separated and divorced everyday...and it takes a whole lot more than reading the bible and binding principalities, to BALANCE the different facets of a complex institution. There is a mind set we are yet to embrace.
Don't get me wrong. Having a peaceful home is important and having a prayerful woman is downright necessary...but PRAYER without WORK is dead. Freaking dead...and even buried.
Its almost as if people believe that religion gives them the permission to be lazy.
After all, the bible quotes that Heaven only helps those who help themselves.
And I have come to learn that PEACE is brought forth by happiness and HAPPINESS emanates from genuine SATISFACTION.
So having a lazy partner who brings nothing to the table, who's job is simply to take, because a man is willing to provide...isn't doing herself, her man or the foundation of their relationship any good.
And that's when one starts getting resentful and the relationship becomes unsatisfactory, because one person is giving and giving...And another is taking and taking.
HERE COMES THE REAL McCOY
It isn't one person's responsibility to pray or to be catered for...and the other person's own to work.
Even if a woman has goals and DESIRES of her own...How do her goals align with his own goals? How can they partner to become stronger and more DYNAMIC than either of them could ever be on their own?
The basic reason that most relationships breakdown is because goals are no longer aligned, mutual vision does not exist...and they no longer want the same thing.
One person wants out, another wants in...One wants to live in one country, or become something the other person doesn't want.
One lives a lifestyle the other doesn't like...And guess what, it happens to the best of people, some who love but don't understand the dynamics of love...some who have stayed together for years...but have grown apart.
One of the things that keeps a real man going, are the dreams he has, and having a woman by his side who understands it, can nurture it and add VALUE to it, places her in an important position is his life.
Whether he is the workaholic who only thinks about work or the affectionate homebody. Either way, it is a win for her and for him. She doesn't need to be a business oriented guru or an expert.
She only needs to know how to add value to his dreams, his life by finding ways to support & encourage him to GROW and keep on growing. Because a passive woman who allows a man to remain stagnate isn't adding any value to his growth and that is not LOVE.... For love is laced with value. One can not show love/ APPRECIATION for something or someone they don't value.
My advice is for a man to always look out for what positive role a woman plays in his life first. (Which is why mothers are important to a lot of men...they are the first PRACTICAL example of a woman who adds value to them and propels their dreams).
A woman who has a vision...isn't merely a TAKER or a common talker who has plans that never go beyond her lips or leave her note pad....she is a doer. An ACHIEVER...a woman who has a mental picture of the exact kind of life she wants for herself, the kind of man that FITS into it, how she wants to be treated, how she wants to treat him and how they can together, CONQUER their purpose in life.
A woman who understands that there is no mountain high enough, valley low enough nor even a river wide enough, to keep her from achieving a SUCCESS of out it all.
This type of woman with a vision is the exact kind, for the man with a dream.
And while my client is confused about which woman he needs on the ride to the next phase of his life. Truth is we should all marry for ourselves and not for others. He might have broken up with his ex, because she was too ambitious - But hey - Look how useful those skills are to him now. At the end he needs only the woman who adds value to his dreams - Whatever that is.
This article was initially published on the Authors official blog HERE and currently “re-purposed” for her HUFFINGTON NAKED SERIES.
Or Which of the women do you think my client needs? What kind of woman would you say a man needs, Truth-Seeker? Feel free to EXPRESS your thoughts!
Stay Authentic & Keep Winning!
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Got A Question? Feel Free To #AskAlexHERE. Alex Okoroji is also a Multi Platform Ambassador for Self Empowerment & Transformation, a Reinvention Activist & Thought Leader. Simply Connect on Twitter: @AlexOkoroji or at www.AlexOkoroji.me.