Spouses that choose to work together embark on a very unique journey. This arrangement is not a conventional marriage. Two of the hardest things a person can attempt is to build a successful business and a successful marriage. 90 percent of all businesses fail within the first 5 years. The divorce rate (in the U.S.) is now higher than 50 percent. Combine these two endeavors, and you face a lot of risk. There is a lot at stake at home and at work if things get rocky. The levels of expectations for one another are much higher than in a typical business partnership or typical marriage. Consideration must extend much further than, “I have this great business idea, can you help me?”
As a follow up to my January 10, 2013 segment on Washington Business Report (http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/02/washington-business-report-feb-10-2013-85006.html) on working with your spouse, I’ve interviewed several other business owners who have braved this model to learn what makes it work, and how to avoid trouble in paradise. Rather than giving a simple bulleted list of strategies such as “schedule a date night” or “agree not to talk about marriage at home,” I’m sharing a more detailed behind-the-scenes glimpse of the complexities of this arrangement. If you are currently working with your spouse, or thinking about it, this is an important column for you.
The Deltek Summer Party attracted close to 1,000 people in the government contracting space this week. Sandwiched between two great networking opportunities was a two-hour overview of the government contracting landscape, and a non-sugarcoated assessment of what companies have to do if they are to survive the current environment.
Robert Lohfeld, President of Lohfeld Consulting and a capture management expert, gave his assessment of 7 market drivers, and how businesses should manage them to stay competitive. Jim McCarthy, Owner of AOC Key Solutions which supports $3.4 billion per year in client wins, and also a capture management expert, outlined 6 key trends that business owners must accommodate to keep moving forward.
Living in the DC region and leading an organization that supports our government and our war-fighters, I sometimes think we have an enhanced awareness to the profound impacts that our heroic veterans have made on our lives, and to the sacrifices so many have endured.
The freedom that all of us have has not been “free.” Our freedom to vote, to earn a living, to speak freely, to pursue happiness, to practice our chosen religion – these and many other liberties have come at too high of a price for so many heroes.
As CEO of an organization that serves many military branches, the intelligence sector, and other agencies that indirectly support our war-fighters, I truly feel it is an honor to serve our federal government and agencies/branches that send our armed forces into battle.
How engaged are you in building a bigger and better future for you, your company, your family, our world?
That was one of the questions I pondered as I absorbed every word that Matthew Kelly delivered at a recent Entrepreneurs Organization (www.eonetwork.org) event. Kelly is a master organizational consultant to several Fortune 500 organizations on the issue of employee engagement. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller “Off-Balance” and “The Dream Manager.” Kelly led 125 entrepreneurs through the thought-provoking exercise of questioning our own engagement, as well as the engagement of those around us, such as our employees.
Building a multi-million dollar company can take over your life.
Expanding a business requires careful thought about the lifestyle implications, access to money, and a thorough business plan that maps out the path to go from your current state of business to your desired state of business.
What’s the smartest and strongest aspect of your organization? Is it your employees, or is it your organization?
If you follow the thinking of the spectacularly failed Enron Corporation, who religiously subscribed to the belief that having better talent at all levels is how you outperform, then you put most of your stock in the strength of your people. At the height of its hiring frenzy, Enron was bringing on 250 newly minted Ivy League MBA’s a year, grossly overpaying them, giving them Carte Blanche to pursue strategic ideas, and catering to their every professional demand.