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The Parallels Between Business & Love

I love to discuss business. I enjoy watching shows like Shark Tank for the hopeful promise of someone’s dreams coming true through passion, diligence, risk-taking and vision. At the same time, I do also love when someone gets totally shut down on the show for lack of preparation and knowledge of what it takes to be successful in the competitive world of business. When I reflect on different jobs from my past, I know that although some were painful and I stayed much longer than I should have, I learned so much about myself as a person and what I truly wanted in a fulfilling career. The same goes for failed relationships, while painful and maybe longer than necessary, I have continued to learn more about myself and what I need to make me happy.  I can find the valuable pieces of wisdom I took from each job and relationship and add them to my arsenal of skills that push me to become a better person.

When I find myself discussing business with someone either at or outside the workplace, I usually follow my statements by saying, “and the same can be applied in relationships,” delightfully surprised and proud of the parallel I just made. Case in point, here is what I now expect from a job (including but not limited to):

  • I am not money-driven, but I do need to be fairly compensated.
  • I want to understand my career-path and opportunities to grow and earn raises through reviews.
  • I want to be told my expectations, but provided the space to make my own decisions and receive full support.
  • I want an atmosphere of acceptance for who I am, playing to my strengths and assistance to improve my weaknesses.
  • I want to be pushed and motivated.
  • I can accept constructive feedback, but not guilt or garbage dumping. Allow me the time to learn and provide me with all of the tools that I need to be successful.
  • If I ask for something, it is not because I am greedy, it is because I know that I either deserve it, or require it to become a better employee.
  • We need to work hard and play hard.
  • Do not lie or false promise anything, if you are unable to do something, then do not say it in the first place. We need to be authentic with each other.
  • If you are wrong, own it immediately and we can discuss and move on, expect the same from me.
  • We need to have mutual respect, communication, accountability and trust, or we will slowly fall apart. Reciprocation is key.
  • My heart has to be into it 100%. I have to believe in the business in order to be fully engaged. I will not be looking over the fence to other companies if I have the fundamental requirements.
  • Do not take me for granted, I know what I bring to the table. I will always openly communicate and challenge the status quo. Accepting that things have always been this way is not the way you conduct business.
  • Empower me and I will make our business a greater success.

Now read that list again and apply it to a personal relationship. Every single thing applies in some way. The main pillars, as I call them, required to make a relationship work; respect, trust, drive, communication, acceptance, absence of complacency and support wrapped in a blanket of security, parallel seamlessly between business and love. We should be constantly learning and pushing ourselves to become better people and the best part about that is we have vast amounts of information at our very fingertips. There are no excuses. The key to building stronger relationships is total reciprocation. Do not expect anything from business and love that you do not intend to provide.

 “If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”
- Steve Jobs

This has basically become my mantra in life. No matter what you have been through or where you are at in life, do not settle when it comes to matters of business and love. Trust your instincts, they are there for a reason and do not accept less than what you deserve. Sure, it is easy to fall into a pattern; being treated unfairly, making and allowing excuses for it, thinking that it is the best there will ever be for you and justifying why you stay as long as you do, but there is a whole world out there of rewarding and mutually beneficial relationships. Learn from every experience and move forward. Keep searching until you find it. Look for the parallels throughout your life that are teaching you how to find your happiness.

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