The Spouse: The Straw That Stirs The Drink

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Starting or running a successful business takes a certain type of person: strong, determined, unfazed by pressure, and, generally, unable to stop until the task at hand is completed.

That said, the true key to success for most businesses is the spouse at home who takes care of everything family and home-related and still is able to be charming when business dinners arise. Now, it does not matter who stays at home, man or woman (in my case it is my wife so I write from that perspective), I have simply come up with four things the business owner needs to do to keep his spouse happy and, thus, his business thriving.

  1. Listen

It seems so damn simple. Just stand there and listen. Throw in a few "I understands," a couple "I agree, honeys," and one or two "you're rights" and you should be well on your way. The problem that generally arises is most of us are not good listeners because we have been giving orders or pushing forward our own agendas all day at work and, then, it is hard to come home and just... listen. It is a true gift and one from which you will receive a vast amount of mileage if you can do. Just... listen.

  • Spend time together, no matter how short
  • I can't tell you how many times my wife has said to me how much she just enjoyed sitting on our bed talking to each other; no TV, no ipads, no children interrupting, just casually laying around and talking about our respective days. Again, not that difficult. In fact, I am generally surprised when she says how much she enjoyed it because I thought to myself that, "It was no big deal." She didn't have a "honey do" list for me and she wasn't feigning interest when I was discussing the business deal I closed. Hey, maybe life is a two-way street? Either way, not that difficult and actually quite enjoyable to just talk with no interruptions.

  • Be thankful
  • Again, seemingly so easy. Sometimes the most difficult part is actually articulating these words to your better half and not making her laugh or think you want something in return. To tell your spouse how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate them and all they do is so easy. And the amount of love you receive back from such a statement is unbelievable. Again, a seemingly simple utterance of a few words, whose impact could move mountains. Of course, the sincerity in the delivery is essential lest she think you have ulterior motives. "I am thankful you are my wife because..." So easy.

  • Her job is way harder than yours
  • True story. You think you're a Master of the Universe? You're a Big Baller? You are The Man in the business community? Well, step in her shoes for the day. I have done this and, let me tell you, this is no walk in the park. There are a ton of personalities at home who don't collect a paycheck from you and who don't have to agree with every word you say. While your family invariably respects their Dad, you don't quite have the same cache as you do at work. Kids, meals, driving around... be real, her job is way harder than yours. Look, I get it, you are REALLY important and kind of a big deal in certain circles, it's just... well, you are successful because you have a great spouse at home making you and your children's lives way easier.

    All it takes is four easy steps to ensure you keep on being a success.

    This post originally appeared on The Whole Magilla and was written by Chris Meyer, co-founder of MagillaLoans.com.

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