Bad Girl, Good Business

Then why don’t you marry it?

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Yes, I am quoting Pee Wee Herman.

He married a fruit salad in a formal ceremony.

But let’s get back to business…

In the words of Dr. Joyce Brothers, “Marriages, like careers, need constant nurturing… the secret of having it all is loving it all.”

As we continue with our June theme of “marriage and divorce” (literal and metaphorical) I am not proposing that you nurture or marry a fruit salad.

This post is about the many types of intimate relationships in our lives. We are wedded to beliefs, work patterns, and people (not always literally) who affect our day-to-day and our futures in different ways. These attachments can transform and enrich or they can be toxic. And some are a blend of all of that.

We may love and nurture our careers (like Dr. Brothers advises), but we need to balance them with other things. Here’s the dark side of being too “in love” with ones job.

These five types of “marriages” can make or break your health, wealth and happiness.

  1. Your relationship with yourself. Not to worry…I’m not getting all zen or Freudian on you. A business coach once asked me (about a situation at work), “Is this REAL stuff or is this YOUR stuff?” I loved that question. I realized that sometimes my own sense of security, beliefs, and habits were distorting reality. I’ve seen lots of people in business over-react because of an internal filter they put on a message or project or even an e-mail. We sometimes get stressed or angry and that has an impact on our work as well. Know your “stuff” and figure out how to deal with it. Ask questions and don’t just assume. Good communication is key in any relationship!
  2. Your relationship with money and risk. Are you a spender or a saver? Do you plan for a rainy day or is every day rainy in your head? Are you investing in the right things?
  3. Your relationship with your team. Being a great boss means listening and getting to know the people around you. Leading millennials presents its own unique set of challenges. Read more here.  Think too about the people you surround yourself with — advisers, partners, clients, collaborators, and suppliers. Are they a healthy mix? Business polygamy is actually a good thing — you need a balance of people who carry out your vision and those who challenge it. The right mix of skill sets to get the job done and take you to the next level. “Domestic disputes” are inevitable. But fight fair and don’t ever make it personal. Breaking up is hard to do, but sometimes it’s inevitable. But try to do it with civility and empathy.
  4. Your relationship with work. Do you make enough time to enjoy life outside the office? You may love what you do, but as in any relationship, a little time apart can be healthy. Get a hobby or some exercise. Make time to hang out with friends and family. Hey, it’s the summer. Enjoy life!
  5. Your relationship with new ideas and change. A “distressing mental state” occurs when people are exposed to massive change, according to scientific studies. We’re living in a world where constant change is a reality. Even during a wedding, the bride is encouraged to wear “something old and something new.” If you are too committed to your beliefs and “the way things used to be done,” you may wind up being left at the altar of business.

Above all, healthy relationships are balanced and evolve over time.

Perhaps Pee Wee’s fruit salad nuptials will result in a long and happy relationship. Fruit salads have a great blend of textures, tastes, and colors. They change with the seasons. And they are generally good for you.

I would, however, suspect the pillow talk would get a little bit boring after a while.




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