Rather than put our stories together all at once, we have decided to put together a blog that will change over the next few hours. I will share my wisdom (or lack of) with you and Amanda, a well-known radio host, article writer, commentator and brand marketing consultant, will add her thoughts. BTW. Amanda and I have never met or worked together, other than communicating through a shared passion for social media.
Let's see how this experiment works!
DIVORCE - it's never easy.
While I cannot say I have any experience in divorce, I certainly know quite a few people who have. It's never a nice thing and for whatever reason, it seems to destroy lives and create permanent damage to those who have to go through the ordeal.
My experience, is from dating men that are divorced or getting divorced. They mainly tend to fall into a couple of categories; fell out of love and shagged the secretary/pr chick, wife ran away with the personal trainer or the man they met on a health retreat, fighting daily got the better of them both, or they just decided that for whatever reason it wasn't for life - after all, people change.
Now the first category is interesting and I bet you that there isn't a person out there who doesn't know of someone who ran away with the secretary or PR chick or for that matter the author of their book. Look at Bob Hawke, Alan Bond and Jack Welch - they all married the authors of their books - not too dissimilar to those who run away with secretaries really. As for the other two categories, the list is so long, I won't start... but on a weekly basis, I would chat to at least a couple of men who fall into this category, which is why, if you have a husband, make sure that their secretary is not interesting, and is unattractive with some type of permanent disease.
The second is when the wife leaves the man. This typically is because the man is working hard and/or having an affair and neglects their wives for years on end while she raises the children. The minute they turn 40, they race off to a health retreat to find themselves and BANG... someone pays attention to them, they fall in love and leave their husbands. From my experience, never go out with a man whose wife has left him in this situation, because they are mentally scared for life.
Fighting is the pits. I have almost never been in a relationship where I fight alot with the person I am with as quite simply, I don't see the sense. People fight for many reasons, but generally because they view the world or each others actions differently. Sometimes it is because one or both parties are selfish and self-centred and they don't know the meaning of compromise or considering what it is like to be in the other persons shoes.
The last reason, is that one party or both parties realise that the person they were when they were 20, isn't who they are when they are 40. They didn't grow together. I have first hand experience with this one as I went out with a lovely man for my entire 20's who was kind, considerate and one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met. The problem was that we didn't have anything to talk about. Our interests at 20 years of age were similar, yet, our interests by the time we reach 30 were poles apart. I simply fell out of love with him but because there was so much respect for each other, he still remains one of my best friends today. A good outcome, but nevertheless, a version of divorce.
Now, if we were married, I would dare say, I would have gone off to a marriage counsellor and tried to make it work. We weren't, so I closed the door.
I am a hopeless romantic and believe in the whole concept of "Til death do us part" and if I ever marry, I will move heaven and earth to make sure I remain connected and in love with my husband. Everything takes work and commitment, with marriage being no different. There will be good days and bad days, challenging times and a lot of heart ache, but the partnership and honouring of vows would be to me, worth it. Avoiding divorce at all costs would be the most important thing I could ever do. At least that is my belief right now, without the experience to back it up.
Business is no different.
In business, when we sign a client, we don't just do it for a year as our contract states. We want to commit to the client for a lifetime - but that's easier said than done. People's needs change, they accidentially fall into bed with your competitors who they meet at dinner parties or because a key influencer in their lives has pushed them their way. We disagree at times and at the end of the day, the client is "always right" but if the fighting continues, it's more likely than not they will walk away or that you will want them to.
Sometimes, the ethics of marketing companies cause divorce (not us mind you!!). They find a bigger company in the same space and decided that that is better for their brand and they will make more money out of them - so they ditch the current client for the "new, more exciting version".
But if we all are really smart about it, we consider not only our feelings and the emotional turmoil that is associated with a personal or business divorce, but we also consider the financial impact. It costs more to get a new client than to keep the old one. It costs more to divorce your husband or wife (unless you have nothing and they have everything) too! So, why not try and work it out? Realise that every relationship requires work, listening, consideration, compromise and sometimes standing back and letting the other win.
Over to you Amanda!
A relationship takes one thing. A commitment to put the OTHER person first no matter what. We live in a world of "what's in it for me" instead of "what can I do for them". Now, there is nothing wrong in wanting to know what is in it for you. Hey, we are human after all. So if we were honest from the start on what we want and our willingness and committment to always put the other first - and they do the same, then relationships would be alot easier.
Divorce is most often caused by "money" issues. This can be said for business break ups too. There is a lack of balance when it comes to who is really 'doing their job' so to speak. Marriages break down because they spend more than they earn (or someone does) or they disagree on who is earning enough and who is spending too much. Either way, money comes between MOST people in life.
In business, we often feel we are spending more on someone and not getting much in return. Businesses are bending over backwards to give that extra "value add" to prevent this from happening although I think too many of us are predisposed to be unhappy parting with money in the first place. This is where communication is key. I am very open and honest in all relationships, business or personal. I say straight up who I am, what I am like and possibly things that may work against me at the initial meeting. Regardless, I am honest. I also tell people to "tell me everything" because I can't read minds and you are unhappy, stressed or even happy - it is a safer bet to tell me then to expect I already know. The issue here is that if we haven't been honest with ourselves about who we are and what we want - then how can we communciated that to another business or person?
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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