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How Six Things I Learned From My First Love Can Make Or Break Your Business Part 2

Aug 17, 2007
Since a survey conducted by the Census Bureau shows that in every age group except 25 and under, the proportion of divorced people exceeded one in eight, and for those 40 and older it exceeded one in three, one may conclude a parallel between marriage and business. Mark Hendricks, (Entrepreneur Startup Magazine, March 2006) states, "The SBA, using U.S. Census Bureau data, reports that almost half of new firms with at least one employee survive beyond four years."

One can conclude that if almost half survives, then a little more than half fails. Successful businesses, whether they ply their wares online or offline, exemplify the same characteristics of successful marriages or relationships.

As a student at Sam Houston High School in Houston, Texas in 1976, my first love, Pamela, taught me some very valuable lessons that surprisingly caused me more success in the area of business than in any other area of my life. Please keep an open mind because great discoveries of life come from unexpected sources and the ability to look at old things in a new way.

Here are the remaining three lessons that if applied, may give you great personal and business value.

4) Where Your Heart Is, Is Where Your Treasures Lie

Pamela and I spent most of our free time together. When not talking on the phone together, or going out on dates, like the song "Georgia" she always stayed on my mind.

Consequently, I see some people who say they are in business, but spend so little time thinking about and cultivating their product or service. You can find out where a person's heart lay by seeing how that person invests either time or money in their relationship.

I don't begrudge an occasional pizza in, or even handmade gifts, but real romance comes along when you show someone you care by investing some money in its maintenance. Kevin Wilke, co-founder of Nitro Marketing in explaining "The 90% Rule!" says that 90% of your success will come from your mindset and 10% will come from knowing "how to" do something.

Successful relationships like businesses are not haphazardly thrown together -- in addition to good planning, the saying "it takes money to make money," is a reality. Spontaneity has its place, but for the long haul, nothing works better than day-to-day planning and organization.

5) And They Call It Puppy Love

No one knows your true heart or motives as well as you in regards to your relationship and what you hope to get out of it. As the founder or initiator, only you know the parameters of your business -- although everyone else sees how you treat it.

If you consider it as a serious business, then do not treat it like a hobby (puppy love). Merriam Webster describes a hobby as "a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaging in especially for relaxation."

If your business seems like a hobby (not really making money although you find it relaxing) it may just be "puppy love." Sooner or later you will find yourself moving on to something else worthy of a strong committment from you.

6) Know When To Hold Them And When To Fold Them

The fear of failure keeps many people from a committed relationship, just like it keeps them from starting a business. Unfortunately, sometimes things just do not work out.

Many successful business owners found success only after trying several other things that did not pan out -- but learned from their earlier mistakes. Alas, as much as I loved her, Pamela and I broke up a year or so later, but please don't weep for me.

The lessons we learned as a young couple served me well in the 24-year marriage that followed a few years later. And, as a bonus, Pamela and I remain good friends 30 years later.

The old adage still rings true, especially in business. "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." You may want to add, "Because experience indeed is the best teacher."
About the Author
Marvin D. Cloud provides a self-publishing alternative at mybestseller.com. For a free writers' workbook and online marketing tips, go to http://mybestseller.com/html/marketing_tips.
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