Whether life or business, the truth is, being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage. But the wrong one will kill both.
Before I got married, I used to say, that in the next ten years, the two things that can only change a man’s destiny is the people he meets and the books he reads. And then a client added the third one, saying, “your girlfriend, or the spouse you have or end up with”. Now, I totally agree.
As entrepreneurs and professionals with the right love, we find balance. With the right partner by your side, we act, think and progress better. I mean when we are in love with the right person that is. But with the wrong person, it becomes reduced to an expensive hobby that drains your energy and it can affect the quality of your outputs. As much as finish and complete are synonyms, nothing more differentiates those terms clearly than the quality of union of love partners. The words finish and complete is alike in meaning, except that if you find the right partner, you are complete. But with the wrong one, you are finished!
As a business consultant with clients who are couple, I sometimes sit in for dinners and then subliminally have my thoughts and my heart play John Gottman (by the way, the psychologist, John Gottman can listen to a couple for 5 minutes and determine, with 91% accuracy, whether they can be successful together and whether they’ll be divorced in the next 5 years). He looks out for interests in vision, and how they carry out and manage criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling during conversations. This isn’t something entrepreneurs manage well and something they must be open to or even have to give up.
Power, business success and the dedicated responsibility that comes with romance have a correlation. Those who are committed to one person have lesser distractions and more time to focus on their growth. You can tell the quality of a man or woman by the quality of his union. There is also a reason why most corporate and political positions are reserved for those who are married. That’s because marriage shows a level of maturity and discipline. While age helps you grow old, relationships help you grow up. There’s a difference between growing old and growing up. One is mandatory and the other is optional.
We live in a world where romance is something that comes after work and not parallel like it should. So, we treat it, not as complementary but a product of success. We expect it to be less important to business. So, we don’t treat our relationships and marriage with the same level of attention and focus as our work. This leads to a noticeable contempt that creates chaos. This is the main reason why it seems okay for a successful man to brag about how many women he has, especially if he can materialistically provide the means. We see this everyday. And with the recent one coming from the Nigerian parliament a few weeks ago.
A few weeks ago, in the face of rising insecurity and other issues in northern Nigeria, which I believe is caused by religion, corruption and poverty, a member of the House of Representatives from the same poverty-stricken north, actually went viral for coming to the house of assembly with his four wives. He stood up just to present his four wives to the Speaker as a show-off to his colleagues that he is a “strong man”. How does your inability to stick to one woman okay enough to even be a sign of being a strong man?
Whether it’s under the legality of marriage or outside of it, we can achieve more when we dedicate our energy and focus to just one person, it gives peace. That peace will later be needed to think, conceptualize and find the support needed to make more progress.
I watched my brother in law become more successful as he got married. He didn’t just become more successful. But that came because he made a choice to become a better man from the day his first daughter was born. It’s also because of the quality of woman he married. We used to hang out together a lot before then, especially when he was still dating my sister. Then I asked him why he suddenly has grabbed chill. And he said, “I just want to be a good picture for my daughters and wife. I want to be the kind of man I want my daughters to bring home, one day. He turned around and asked me, if you had a daughter Eizu, would you pray that your daughter should walk into the house someday with a husband that is exactly like you”? That’s deep.
Success is more achievable when there’s something bigger that inspires you. Make that the person you love and your family. Success is more achievable when boys become men. And that happens by responsibility. But most of us will rather be boys. You see my dear, we’re either boys or men, we can’t be both. Boys are known to chase girls, only a few grow up to be men. These are the ones who date ladies and then marry and become faithful to that woman. On the other hand, women date boys but wish to marry men. They sometimes end up with boys they struggle to convert to men. That’s traumatic at time. A boy looks for a girl to sleep with, but a man looks for a woman worth waking up to. I have learnt that when a real man with mere prospects meets the right woman and treats her right, progress happens in 360 degrees, even more visible with his business.
An elderly man once said to me, every time you mistreat a woman, you give up your right to be treated like a man. Men are from mars; women are from Venus. That’s a book, you should read it. He said to me that every woman is a damsel seeking a knight in shiny armour who will love her, shower her with care, validation and re-assurance. Women love to have their feelings recognized. They naturally love to cooperate, and they love assistance and value. That assistance if I am to be honest also includes finance. For love in our economy is incomplete without money, so a man’s ability to provide is a major part of the role. Be productive to be a provider. Let’s be real, in Africa, RomANCE without FInANCE can be a NuisANCE. Steve Jobs’ first girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan, wrote a memoir about her time with the tech giant. It’s called “The Bite in the Apple”. I think you should read it. My summary from it is that a man that is productive and can provide is a universal turn on.
From the book, we see that Steve Jobs is supposedly a boring guy. The kind that ladies won’t notice in high school. However, Steve jobs at 23 made his first 1 million dollars, at 24, 10 million dollars and at 25, 100 million dollars. Now, that even to my mother will be sexy. Swag is cool, but class and success are better. Men are to be providers. Men are like bank accounts, without a lot of income, they don’t generate interest.
This article is about diverging your distractions so you can converge the extra energy to what matters most. It’s about business, love, focus and commitment. My advice is, don’t lose your stamina on the fast lane. A focused man is void of the distractions that comes from affairs and frivolities of success can create so much more with his life. A wise man at a golf game once told me, “Eizu as you grow, comfort and distractions may set in. But never let a win get to your head and a loss to your heart”. It’s all about work process and ethics. Stay true to you and those that love you. Extra ordinary work ethics means hard work and commitment. And commitment means staying true and loyal to what you said you’ll do and the vows you’d be; way after the mood and situations you said it has left you.
Strategy. Business StartUps and Corporate Restructuring Consulting
Uwaoma Eizu is the lead strategist at Hexavia! He is a graduate of Mathematics with two MBAs and over a decade of experience working with startups and big businesses. His core is in building startups and in corporate restructuring. He is also a certified member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria and the Project Management Institute, USA. By the side, he writes weekly for the BusinessDay newspaper.