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Relationship Problems: Should you take business advice from your spouse?

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Today I’m writing you from Italy about a topic that can get as firery as a good sugo all’arribbiata!

Riddle me this:

Have you ever taken — or totally resisted — business advice from your spouse/significant other?

For many of us, we resist way more than we take. So strange that it’s often the person we love the most that we hate to take advice from.

Well if you can relate to this struggle, watch as I share four simple, but powerful, questions to ask yourself to help relieve the tension.

(By the way — I used to be horrible about taking business advice from Josh and, thankfully, I’ve gotten better. He has some damn good ideas and I’d be a freakin’ idiot not to listen to him!)

If you can relate to this topic, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Specifically, do you take business advice from your spouse/significant other? If so — are you happy to get it or does it cause tension?

Leave a comment with your best strategy for keep the peace at home when you’re both smart, ambitious and driven.

Grazie Mille

xoxox

Marie Forleo

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Darlene with BlogBoldly

OMgosh!

I feel your pain girl!

My husband actually took over my building biz so you can imagine the potential friction there.

We we found is as we grew closer together as a couple, we became more supportive in our business life.

~ darlene

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Laura G. Jones

Wow, Darlene! It’s amazing that you managed to turn this into a growth process. I’ve definitely seen this with my husband as well – when he tries to give me business advice and I resist it, it’s probably because we have other issues in our relationship that are speaking out through my frustration/defensiveness.

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Darlene with BlogBoldly

Oh Laura.. You have no idea.

Quite frankly it was “do or die.” It was probably one of the biggest relationship learning experiences of my life.. and thank God I was rewarded with a stronger than ever marriage.

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Laura G. Jones

Isn’t it amazing how the toughest experiences end up becoming the biggest growth processes? I always try to be thankful for the tough times and big issues we’ve been through, because I don’t think our marriage would be as strong as it is if we hadn’t learned to grow together through all of that.

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Galina

Hi Darlene! I actually thought having a business minded spouse would be easier for the relationship. In my case I can’t really ask him for advice. I’m afraid he might even despise me for being ambitious unlike him.

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Maia @AstridaNaturals

Galina,

I feel like I’m in the exact same situation! Sometimes I feel there may be tension because I’m so focused on business and he’s not. He’s not unsupportive, but I do feel like there is a divide between us that stems from our different levels of ambition.

On a more positive note, I can say that we share the same end goals. Where I feel entrepreneurship will get me there, he’s more content to take a traditional route, but we both want the same for our family and life. :)

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Galina

Hi Maia! Thanks so much for the reply! Seems like we have a pretty similar situation! Do you mind if I contact you to talk a bit more about it? :)

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Heidi Nicole, Life Coach

Hi Darlene,

I also got a lot of advice from my spouse. Both of us knew that he really didn’t “get” what I wanted from my website, marketing, sales etc. But he just offered up what he knew, since he does have a business degree. Sometimes it was frustrating but I agree, we ultimately became closer. It was a tough balancing act for a while though!

-Heidi

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Denise Duffield-Thomas

Man – kudos to you. I can imagine that’s tough!

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Lisa Robbin Young

Darlene, I had the opposite problem. I kept TRYING to get my husband to participate, and then felt so disappointed when he kept offering next to nil in the advice/encouragement department. Finally, I had to realize that sometimes, we’re just not meant to work in cahoots with our spouse.

It was a challenging time to work through in our marriage, but it also helped me see what his true strengths are (and mine).

One of the things we’ve both learned through this is the value of specific requests. Ask for what you REALLY want (listening ear, advice, etc), and then it’s easier to see if you’re getting what you really need.

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Kristen the 20-Something Breakthrough Coach

I don’t have a spouse, but I certainly understand getting business advice (wanted or unwanted) from friends, family, other coaches, etc., who may not fully understand my vision. I try to really consider others’ input, without feeling guilty if I don’t take it – but it’s not always easy!

And it’s true, Marie – men in particular LOVE to give solutions, even when you really just want someone to listen to your struggles and be supportive. (It’s one of their most lovable and frustrating traits lol.) So when I’m talking to guys, I sometimes even preface the conversation with something like, “I don’t really need a solution to this right now, but can I just vent to you?” That seems to work well to let them know they don’t have to “fix” my problem for me, but they’re still helping me by letting me talk through something that’s bothering me.

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Laura G. Jones

Kristen, I totally hear you – I’ve found the same script very helpful with my husband. Otherwise it just ends up that he tries to “fix it” and I get mad at him for not letting me vent. It’s so easy to over-do the venting though! :)

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Carolyn Flynn

Kristen – You’re smart to have figured that out early. Letting people know exactly what we need from them or how specifically they can support or help us eliminates so much unnecessary conflict and frustration.

I wrote about getting your relationship needs met on my last blog post at http://carolynflynn.org

-Carolyn

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Erin Flynn

Not related (pun intended), but I saw your name and for a second totally thought you were my mom. lol

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Carolyn Flynn

Erin,
That’s too funny!
Carolyn ;)

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Jennifer Kennedy

This is spot on, Kristen!

I for sure need to be super duper specific when talking to my boyfriend. Because I tend to rant and then not want to here what he has to say — then I get very frustrated. And, he’s left wondering….WTH!

I can’t ask for him to read my mind!

So, I’ll definitely will use the line about not needing a solution!

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Steve Wyman

Hi Kristen

Thats great advice! maybe for life as well as work.

If we make it clear what were asking for it all goes a lot more smoothly.. Even when talking to Martians :-)

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Emelia

As usual, great advice, Marie.

Introspection is always the way. What’s the root of our “discomfort?” Being truthful with ourselves lights the way in every situation. And if we have to share a truth with another, truth delivered with compassion wins every time (whether it looks like an immediate win or not.)

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Laura G. Jones

Emelia, I love how you always put it so poetically. It’s true. What bothers us is usually just a reflection of the real issue, and we can only find the real problem by going inside and being truthful with ourselves.

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Emelia

Thanks, Laura. :)

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Mariah Thompson

I don’t mind receiving advice from my significant other on my blog. I actually encourage it – and I guess it’s because he’s not bossy. He’s very supportive and is great to bounce ideas off of. So far as criticism – as long as it’s constructive, I’m cool.

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Laura G. Jones

Mariah, I love the dynamics you two have together! That’s wonderful to have. Something to be grateful for!

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Leah

I actually just asked my husband to help me create a new freebie for my opt-in, and it has been the BEST to have someone to bounce ideas off of, get a new perspective, and help use his skills.

I used to hoard all of my ideas and actions to myself, but this has been a bonding experience that is beneficial for my business at the same time!

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Heidi Nicole, Life Coach

I agree Leah. It helps him understand what I’m actually doing when I’m sitting up in my office, not actually talking to people as their coach. We bonded over that too!

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Ree Klein

Great vid as usual, Marie! I’m in a relationship with a smart, funny, and loving man. I have always been an idea person, I come up with product ideas, business ideas, all kinds of ideas. I’m the dreamer and risk-taker (to a degree) in the mix; he’s practical, rational and sees the risk in everything.

You can imagine where that takes us! The good news is that I grew up with a sister much like him and so I got over most of my defensiveness on her (sorry, sis!). Now, I see that type of input as my balance. While it is irritating to get the immediate barrage of why something won’t work, it is useful because you have a chance to think through all the possible roadblocks…even if you don’t want to!

With age comes wisdom :)

Ree ~ I blog at EscapingDodge.com

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Laura G. Jones

Ree, this was like reading about myself! I’m also the big idea person, dreamer, and risk-taker. I set huge dreams and then act as if they will definitely happen. When my husband tells me that they are slightly unrealistic (which is fair), I get upset at him.

I think the difference is that, while I set big dreams, I don’t get discouraged when I don’t attain them. Instead, I just bounce off to the next big goal. My husband will set realistic goals/dreams for himself, and actually hold himself to reaching them. I’m more of an aim-high-then-shoot-and-see-where-life-takes-you kind of person. Now, finding that balance… I’m still wobbling a little on that tightrope, but I’m getting there! Thanks for pointing out the silver lining!

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Cathy

Laura this is so true! I’m such a dreamer and risk taker, and my husband is the down to earth realist. I’m always telling him he’s a big buzz kill lol, but truthfully he does have some good ideas and wants me to succeed. Great topic Marie!

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Marcie Paige

Cathy, I’m in the same situation as you! I’m a big dreamer and love trying new things even if it doesn’t work out and my husband very down to earth and boringly practical. I’m always telling him he’s a buzz kill :)

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Laura G. Jones

Marie, I love your script! And I agree with everything you said, especially the out-man your man part. So many women do this in the spirit of independence and being able to stand on our own two feet, but we forget how much it can hurt our relationship.

I frequently resist my husband’s business advice, even though he usually turns out to be right. Over time, I have learned to just go inside and ask myself, what’s really behind this resistance? I’ll usually realize that it’s not a problem with the advice he’s giving me, but some other point of friction in our relationship.

Many times it’s just me being insecure, which is something he can’t help me with. So I just tell him that I’m not ready to fully listen to his advice, and I take some time to connect with myself and resolve my insecurities. Then I come back to him to talk about his advice. It’s usually good stuff, it just requires me being open and present and being able to put my inner demons aside.

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Ameena Falchetto

I’ve worked with my husband from the day we met. We’ve set up several businesses together over the years and had to have super strict rules in place to make sure it works. We allocate the tasks and even have job descriptions to make sure we don’t step on each other’s toes.

Occasionally things can go a bit crazy when I just want to vent and he wants to fix it but we have learnt to offer up a warning prior to the rant!

I’ve realised over the years that it’s important to only ask for advice when I know he’s the best person to ask it from to avoid any potential offense that could arise (and I also have to stay professional when my advice isn’t necessarily taken!)

It’s definitely an interesting dynamic!

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Vicky Lyashenko

Love the idea of having job descriptions! Such a great idea! Thanks!

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Ronja Venus Andersson | Orgasmitude.com

I totally agree with you Almeena. It’s so important to keep things super clear and allocate tasks.

Me and my man teach tantra together, so while we’re leading workshops and retreats we’re naturally polarized: him in his masculine, me in my feminine.

BUT during the period of organizing, promoting etc it’s über important that we take time to relax, rejuvenate and re-polarize after a day’s work.

For example: I dance and he meditates, to bring us back into intimacy mode.

Love,
Ronja

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Melanie

I don’t really agree with the notion that competitiveness is a masculine value.

Then again, I generally don’t agree with masculine/feminine dichotomies society tends to encourage when it comes to women, so… For me, competitiveness is just that: a desire to be and do better. An energy is an energy. You can label it if you want.

Truth is we don’t like women to be competitive in a world where they are generally told to be nice, supportive and arranging at every turn (especially at work), whereas men are encouraged to develop their competitiveness and go for it.

I’m not unfeminine because I’m ambitious, or want to be the best at what I do.

In a marital context, it’s a different story, and sometimes too much competitivity can be destructive. But I know a lot of couples (mine included) where people support AND challenge themselves at the same time, like a team.

If you feel competitive, I don’t think the solution is to suppress it because it’s a “masculine” thing. I would rather advise to accept it, talk it through with your partner, set boundaries and redirect this energy elsewhere, where it becomes positive and won’t hurt your couple.

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Udo @ girl after college

I think it IS exhausting to be competing with your life partner. Because, IMO, a marriage is a partnership. You help each other. A little competition is fun, but running a business is a constant thing and I’m sure it is exhausting. Especially when you are competing with someone who’s been doing it for years and you’re just starting. I think the person who asked the Q is competing since she talked about how she compares herself to him. It will exhaust her, not because she’s a woman IMO, but just because she doesn’t have the experience like he does.

But I agree, I’m not about this whole “feminine energy” thing. I understand women have a different quality than men and it is to a woman’s advantage to do what comes naturally to her that does not come naturally to men. But that does not mean we cannot compete. It means when we compete, we can win in a way that a man can’t.

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Nathalie Lussier

I’ll raise my hand as someone is both competitive and loving/empathetic. I agree that competitiveness is not a bad trait and that we shouldn’t suppress it. My husband and I are both competitive by nature, but we find ways to also be in support of each other… or competitive together as opposed to against each other.

I think that helps a lot, and I totally get what you’re saying about the societal roles we see for women and men. I think there’s a place for competitiveness in the boardroom (or virtual office) and then a place for connection in the kitchen or bedroom, if you know what I mean! ;)

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Katy

I wholeheartedly agree. I really, really cringed at the “outmaning your man” response. I mean, really… suggesting that women have to be “feminine” for their man is just one step away from suggesting she should stay in the damn kitchen. A marriage is two people, each of whom have their own personalities and goals, which may or may not conform to traditional gender norms. Both partners need to work it out together.

Purposely limiting yourself (be successful… just not tooo successful) in order to not upset your “man” is bound to create more problems and resentment down the road. And if it doesn’t, honestly, you’ve got bigger problems than the success of your business.

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Marie Forleo

Katy (and Caitlin) thanks so much for your comment. To be clear, I did not suggest this reader purposefully limit herself or her success in order to not upset her man. That is crazy!!!

What I did suggest is for her to INVESTIGATE the competitive dynamic that’s happening with her husband — especially if it’s not something she’s fully aware of. Unless it’s in a playful arena or used as a uniting force, competition amongst partnerships of any kind can be destructive if left unchecked.

As Nathalie said in her comment, I too am a competitive person and my dreams, ambitions and success have NO ceilings – and I’m in a fantastic, supportive relationship.

But I don’t “compete” with Josh. We are partners who thrive off of each other’s strengths and challenge each other to be the best we can be.

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Laura G. Jones

Marie, I completely agree with this. The issue is not being competitive in general, the issue is when you’re trying to be competitive with your husband on something non-related to the relationship, like how successful of an entrepreneur you are. Great response!

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Kassandra

I don’t think Marie’s advice is about limiting a woman’s potential. I’m a women breadwinners coach and I’m a woman breadwinner. My husband and I joke about the idea that I “run the show” and he fully supports my work. He reads every post I write, every Facebook I post, joins every email list and it’s been that way since Day 1. But the one thing in being an alpha female, that I’ve really had to come to understand (and, mind you, I’m still learning) is beautifully said in a book by Cynthia Occelli called “Resurrecting Venus”: “Return your man to the throne by allowing him to fix things, solve problems, figure things out, and make decisions without your involvement. He doesn’t need you to tell him how to fold the grocery bags, what route to take in traffic, how to handle a dispute with a sales clerk, or what to say to the children. When you feel yourself jumping up and down inside, eager to tell him how to do something “right”, zip it and turn your attention to something you’re interested in: your work, a project, a daydream, something you’d like to create. Ask for his help. Ask for his advice. Let him come to your rescue every now and then. Enjoy the easy feeling and freedom of carrying less of the burden and having man who has your back, a man you can trust. He needs you to need him. You cannot comfortably sit on both thrones. It’s okay to let go.”

And that’s what I have to remind myself of A LOT: It’s okay to let go. He needs me to need him… and it’s not that I “need” him; a partner is someone you desire, not someone you require but men need to feel that they are your hero and, as women, we can honor that by focusing on how our partners staff our weaknesses with their strengths. My husband has been in sales 10+ years and I always go to him asking sales advice in my business and, time and again, he gives me fabulous advice. He doesn’t try to take over or any of that stuff but he makes suggestions and they work… and, he always ends by saying, “Your work is great. It’ll happen.” But I think that going to him is what helps him feel like he’s a part of the process, that he’s needed. Whenever we’ve had hard times it’s because he didn’t feel needed and felt like a third wheel. At the end of the day, I think Marie is saying that we have to keep our focus on the WE, not the I and instead of competing with our men, recruit them to help champion our cause.

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Amy

Kassandra, I LOVED what you just said there. I actually really resonated with what Marie said about not out-manning your man. I took it to mean two things: one, unhealthy competition can erode a relationship, so we should examine what that competitiveness really means to us, two: I for one, strongly believe that there are natural male/female instincts, with the male wanting to protect, feel needed and fix things for his lady/family. It doesn’t mean we females should be submissive or put our dreams/ambition aside to please our man, but that being aware of this makes sure that when we pursue our dreams we are doing it in our special ways, with OUR unique feminine strengths, and not trying to emulate what our hubbies/male counterparts do. Men DO have a different approach. Both parties can LEARN from each other, like you said, as a WE :)

Caroline Frenette Master Intuitive Coach

I didn’t get from the video any implications for women to limit themselves. Anyone who knows you Marie would know that your mission is to empower women to “create a business and a life they love.”

I agree with you Marie that competing with your man wouldn’t work at all: it’s just too damn unhealthy and result in zero sex life. AYE!

LOL

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Kassandra

ZERO sex life is right Caroline! In any relationship, if you feel like you’re in competition with one another, there’s no way you’re feeling like being intimate. Who wants to be intimate with someone they inwardly perceive to be an opponent? Keeping the WE in mind and adoring and appreciating each other’s strengths IS key!

Caitlin

Thank you, I completely agree. I love Marie, and I love what she does for entrepreneurs (especially women), but my feminist side was slightly on-edge with this question and response. A husband is a PARTNER, not a dominant force (at least that’s what I hope is the case in the 21st century). Competition doesn’t mean “masculine” and suppressing something just so you don’t “out-man your man” (*cringe*) isn’t a solution. Effective communication is key and if this is indeed an issue of the husband in question feeling emasculated because of his wife’s success in business, then there is a bigger problem at hand.

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Joya

Right on, Caitlin! I am in a same-sex partnership and we talk about business a lot. I love being successful and supporting my partner’s success. I know that she feels the same way.

The 21st century marriages and partnerships that I have known don’t fit the “masculine” and “feminine” roles or dynamics that Marie has suggested in her video, but it’s clear that the message Marie is putting out there about the sexes resonates with more than a few. I still can’t seem to bring myself to watching the hit show Mad Men…and am glad that that era is only in the movies.

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Dawnielle Castledine

Thank you Melanie for responding to this. Your words express my thoughts much better than mine might have after watching this. I also find the masculine and feminine dichotomy actually damaging to self. I have tons of traits that are either/or and it makes me no less a woman. I am who I am!

With regards to the business advice part, I find myself giving unsolicited advice to my partner when he “talks shop” with me about the cooperative that he and a handful of our mutual male friends run together. I try to flag things that worry me but lately it has been not only damaging our relationship but also my relationships with these friends. I feel like I have learned so much and I do want to see them being successful so I want to share my thoughts with them, even though often times it is just the negative feedback. When my partner finally mentioned this to me, I realized that re-framing the advice from “don’t do this” to “do/try this” really helps, as well as asking questions to get people to think through things themselves instead of telling them what to do or not do, really makes these conversations easier. It also really helps to ask if your partner wants advice or just an ear when the conversation starts, and alternatively when you are starting to talk about your business to get clear on what you need from the conversation. Sometimes friends are much better to talk to about this than partners.

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Ronja Venus Andersson | Orgasmitude.com

Hey Melanie, (and all who have replied below)

I find that whenever someone reacts in a negative way to the words ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ it’s actually because we’ve adopted society’s limited small-box view of what those words mean, and not the incredibly rich celebration of uniqueness and how we can open into who we really are.

For a much DEEPER understanding, and life-changing insights about men, women, relationships and deep love, the best book I’ve ever read on the subject masculine-feminine is “Intimate Communion” by David Deida.

Enjoy!
Love,
Ronja

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Udo @ girl after college

This is so risque in my mind with all the sexuality and gender-role references.

I WISH my man would be more domineering about giving me business advice, haha. I have to beg him to teach me all that he knows. Some of us could trade places.

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Maurizio

ciao Marie,
ben tornata :))

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Demetria

I talk things over with my husband and he acts as a sounding board for me, but he never has tried to take over my business, give unwanted advice. He trusts my judgment and trusts my ability to do my job. I will say my husband has been with me since I came up with my business, so he was not walking into my company.

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Caroline Frenette Master Intuitive Coach

Oooooooooooooooou “stay in our feminine” love that!
I strive to be sexy, loving & successful :)

I’m blessed with a fiance who is supportive, smart & loving and he knows not to give me advice unless I ask ;)

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Andrea @ GoDiaperFree

Funny enough…my spouse and I just had a rather uncomfortable fight LAST NIGHT because I was being resistant to his business advice. I was not being very kind to him, and he was trying to help.

This vid couldn’t have been more timely. Thanks Marie :)

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Andrea @ GoDiaperFree

Oh and a PS – MARIE – have you taken any of Allison’s PAX Programs (Understanding Men, Satisfying Women)? Because I’ve taken 3 of em and you are speaking that language that we all could use a reminder about – it just sounds like you have and boy do I love it! That’s where I’ve learned how to talk to men so they don’t feel like a failure, unloved, or one-upped, how to not try to be a better man then them (but obviously I’m still learning).

Now, I’m going forth to ask my husband for some advice that I couldn’t hear last night. xx

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Kassandra

Andrea, I’ve taken a PAX course and that revolutionized how I communicate with men. “You’re my hero” and using small statements involving need, help, and save have become pivotal in how I talk to my husband. Also, doing the 30 second silence where I give him room to speak and allow him to go deeper without interrupting, LIFE CHANGER!

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Elly Klein

I don’t have a partner, but I do have parents!

It doesn’t matter how old you get, parents always seem to think they know better – including when it comes to your business. Can anyone else relate to this? How do you handle it?

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Niight Wind

I’ve tried dialogue similar to what Marie says but if that doesn’t work. I just try to remember that I have my own plan and they are not my target audience, say thankyou to their ideas and carry on.

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Laura G. Jones

Elly, what a coincidence! Just this morning I was having the very same issue with my mom. I actually shared a script for handling just that in my last post (you can check it out here: http://linktoyourself.com/2013/06/difficult-conversations-avoid-arguments/)

I think the important thing is checking in with yourself and understanding why what they are saying is bothering you so much. In the end, they’re not directly annoying you, your reaction to their behavior is what’s causing you to be upset. The way I’ve always dealt with it is to sit down with myself, relax, and dig deep and ask my inner wisdom, “what’s the truth here? what’s really going on?”

Often, this is how I uncover insecurities, or old memories that have been affecting me, or disempowering beliefs. Once I deal with that, I usually know instinctively how to respond best to my parents, and have a much better interpretation of it. Now that I just did that work myself, suddenly I’m taking my mom’s questions and advice more lightly, as just her way of showing she cares.

It can also help to just take a step back and see the big picture. Look at why they are doing what they are doing, and try to understand where they come from. Often just getting out of our own head and getting some perspective can really help.

Elly, you’ve just inspired this week’s coffee chat on my blog! I’ll actually be sure to answer this specific question on my Thursday post. Thank you for that!

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angelina

The thing that always works with my parents is this: “Well, the one thing i know unequivocally is that i love you both. that is the only thing worth focusing on- the rest we can just agree to disagree about because it’s totally not worth wasting our energy on.” they drop it immediately- works on everything- when they disagree about how i’m parenting, running my biz, my relationships… it’s the simple cure all.

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Kassandra

Elly, my mother is a bossy Haitian woman and my husband’s mother is a Jewish mother so combine the two and we have two very opinionated women. I’ve made it a rule not to share my vision with people who can see. So, other than telling my mother when I get a new client or when something good happens, I don’t discuss the business much with her. She’s old school and her advice wouldn’t be applicable. Come to think of it, my father gives more advice but he’s at least more subtle about it so it’s not a directive, more like, “You could do this…” I seem to take that advice much better.

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Penny Wilson

Great answers! As with some of the others, I have a great hubby who provides good advice. Communication is the key – letting him know if I’m just venting or working things through vs. looking for a solution.

Quick question Marie – what books are those on the table?

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Lana Burnley

I suffer from just the opposite problem.

I’ve built a successful business and now starting on my 2nd business – quite successfully again.

My husband has been struggling trying to get his business off the ground. When we first met, I went in guns-a-blazing offering advice and suggestions- all unsolicited I should add. MISTAKE!

He hid, he said nothing. Pushed me away and eventually it blew up in my face. He had it out with me and it took me a couple of years to realize that he had to build his business on his terms, not MINE! Yikes!

So, we now have an agreement. We listen to the other person vent all the time. Only and I mean ONLY when we’re asked for suggestions do we offer our perspective on the other’s issues.

Whew! It is so hard, especially when I have a great idea.. but I must respect his wishes, put my guns back in their holsters and wait until it is my turn.

Thanks for the great reality check Marie.
Love it all.

Lana

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Laura G. Jones

Wow Lana, that would be so tough for me as well! I also struggle with that, and I never realized it, but many men feel disrespected when we’re constantly trying to tell them better ways to do what they are doing (gee, makes sense, right? too bad it doesn’t register for me in the moment, when all I know is “this would be a lot easier” or “this could be done more efficiently”). What helps me is taking 10 deep breaths before I give any guidance, advice, or directions to my husband. If, after those breaths, I still think it’s worth giving (and I can’t just let it go), I give it. But many times I decide it’s not worth it. After that, even if it may take him longer to do it his way, he comes back proud for having done a good job and figured it out on his own. A happy husband is better than an efficient husband to me!

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Heidi Nicole, Life Coach

The venting can often be the key part. I always front a conversation where I’m about to give him a verbal explosion with: “I just want you to listen k?”. If I need advice I’ll front the conversation with: “I’m wondering if you have an idea about this…” It just allows him to know what’s coming!

-Heidi

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farah h

It’s not just me then!!
I talk about my biz to my hubby, have ideas all the time and I must admit, mull over shiny objects too. He hasn’t done loads of personal development courses, like I have and I tend to go to a few, coming back saying..ooh.. so and so said xyz and hubby looks at me like… why do you pay to listent othose guys when thats what I already told you? It really bugs him I go to a ‘guru’ for the same advice he offers for free, with love. He isnt in business, in the same way and is a bit of a maverick, I want to get advice from those who have proved themselves.. sorry hubby :(
It is a touchy subjet, but greatr advice Marie and I love the outfit!

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Linda D

I think it’s an example of “advice is worth what you pay for it”. It’s something I have experienced over and over. When you have tangible equity in something, it tends to mean more to you.

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Laura G. Jones

Farah, I stumble on that with my husband sometimes too. The truth is, often times business sense is common sense. I think it’s important for us to also recognize just how much common sense our spouses have and listen to them a little more.

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Robert

Do you respond every comment? Why not make a video your and give value if you have so much to say, Laura. instead of writing comment on Marie’s blog post.

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Dr Pam Denton

What a great reminder! I dragged my husband into business with me and we became partners. He was the CFO and I the CEO. I kind of threw him into my spiritual leadership and Life Coaching and wanted to see what would happen. Well one thing was for sure I had to learn to listen to him! Now imagine that! Wow did the egos flare at times. I learned to work through the sludge with him and take what he has to say honestly and from the heart. Now I realize he is as intuitive as I am and really knows how to maneuver business in a way that I need to learn from! Thanks for the topic! Great reminder to listen to hubby and men!

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Nathalie Lussier

I love that you discovered that he’s as intuitive and business savvy as you are. I’m about to dive into business with my husband and hearing your story is really comforting and encouraging. :)

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Alejandra Ruani

Nathalie — curious, what type of biz are you diving into with your husband?! :-)

My hubs is a biz genius + holds a big vision for my start up without telling me “how” to do things. He just knows I’ll make it happen. He’s inspired me to become an entrepreneur.

Hubs like ours are a rare breed. Let’s be grateful :-)

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Karla T.

My husband is a lawyer, so he is naturally bossy ;)

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Kassandra

Lawyers definitely are opinionated. They’re ability to play devil’s advocate is AWESOME!

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Denise

Ask for all of the advice that you can get; just be selective about which advice you use.

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Sage Lee, your Brand Mystic

My partner can’t help but giving business advice to me. He’ll try to hold it back, because he knows I’m resistant sometimes. I really did resist his advice for a long time, because he’s not doing well in his business. So I thought, “What can he tell me?” But the truth is, he knows me really well, and he’s able to really identify when I’m not being true to myself in business practices. That’s worth a lot. Plus, I’m not so good at seeing potential problems down the road, and he’s focused on that. Because we are complimentary in this, we make a great team.

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Jacqueline Fisch

This is a regular occurrence in our home!

Funny the things I ask for help with, which is usually related to my website, he tells me to Google it. Did I mention he’s a software developer?????? (PS – I’m not).

He’s happy to offer unsolicited advice in every other area though. Thanks for the reminder that boys feel good when they offer solutions, I’m going to keep this in mind next time he’s serving up his thoughts! X

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Amy

LOL, yes! My mom loves dishing out unsolicited advice. I’m trying to better at receiving them too since he can’t help it!

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Nathalie Lussier

A similar situation was happening for me too when I first started my business… except my man wasn’t in business himself, he just wanted to make sure I was happy and he thought I’d be happier if I got a job. I came up with ways to communicate what I needed from him, and as such he stopped hinting that should go back and get a job.

I have a video with the full story and how we resolved that here:
http://nathalielussier.com/blog/business-blog/business-or-job

This feels like such a common thing, and I love the stay in your feminine recommendation. It’s amazing what a shift in attitude can do to change the way a conversation or pattern seems to be repeating itself!

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Nicole

I LOVE this video! This is a GREAT episode! Thanks Marie. It is so awesome that you said that you can stay in your feminine while being ambitious and driven (this is probably a tweetable) because it can be challenging to activate your masculine energy at work while being feminine after work! It would be great if you could share more tips on this front – staying in your feminine while being ambitious and driven. :) Thanks! Much love!

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Linda

Thank you so much for sharing, this is a great video. My problem is my husband is the entrepreneur and I’m the one he asks for advice. Sometimes, when I point out other perspectives or disagree with a strategy accuses me of being supportive, which is very hurtful, because as you stated, I only want the best for him and his happiness. I’ve gone as far as saying I don’t want to talk about it because of the tension it causes in our relationship. Yet the requests for help or input continue.
He has big dreams and I want him to accomplish them so I sometimes wonder if walking away would be best. He would then be able to focus solely on his dreams and then know that if any advice was provided it would be based on me “being his wife”.

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Mridu Parikh

Of course you nailed it as usual Marie. My husband is super strategic and smart but it used to be really hard for me to constantly hear his advice. I’m way more open to it now but I also think that’s because he has a better understanding of my ideas and how much I bring to the table too. We had a lot of tension but ultimately it’s brought us closer together. Love you Marie!

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Oli Queja

Marie. Got advice. Only 2day! From Mum. She suggested I go see a nurse cause I recently got injured. From exercise. I don’t think I need medical/professional assistance. My body will heal itself. But my mum thinks I do need assistance. Last time i didn`t listen to her advice in this area things got worse. So thank you for reminder!!!

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Nicole

I LOVE this video! This is a GREAT episode! Thanks Marie. It is so awesome that you said that you can stay in your feminine while being ambitious and driven (this is probably a tweetable) because it can be challenging to activate your masculine energy at work while being feminine after work! It would be great if you could share more tips on this front – staying in your feminine while being ambitious and driven. Thanks! Much love!

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Bev @ Linkouture

Oh, this video definitely spoke to me, Marie! My husband genuinely cares about my business and wants me to succeed at it, and as a result gives me lots of advice (both solicited & unsolicited). Particularly with the unsolicited advice, while I appreciate it, I can get very defensive, especially when he says “You didn’t do what I suggested.” While he has some awesome ideas, some aren’t applicable to my business, or where I’m at right now. I think I might apply that script you gave in #2 the next time we start talking business. Thanks!

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Lee

Oh golly … This video is so timely !!!
Usually my husband is spot on with his suggestions and advice. However the difference between us is that he gives everything away and I feel as though when it’s business, I need to charge for it.

I am very clear about my boundaries and the value of my time however he is not so much and it does cause stress from time to time because he sees me as greedy for mentioning that I have a consultation fee. Go figure! Lol

Thank you Marie, for those insightful questions.

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Rita

This one brought back lots of memories! My husband had a lot of “this isn’t going to work” facial expressions going on when I first talked to him about starting the business.

Now he’s awesome but for him seeing results is what mattered. He’s very practical and likes tangible things. Knowing that about him helped me explain and frame things differently to make the conversations more productive for both us.

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Gemma

Great advice (as always), Marie.

My husband is actually employed by a company rather than an emtrepreneur like me, so while I don’t discount his ideas and advice (he’s an engineer, so incredibly logical and an excellent Devil’s Advocate), I do find that sometimes his ideas are very much scaffolded in “employee mentality”.

I also find that where my target audience is primarily female entrepreneurs, he often finds my web designs not really to his taste. But I take this as a compliment – he ISN’T my niche, so I generally know that I’m on the right track!

As for his business advice, I do always listen, but I trust my heart more than anything else. Sometimes you just have to hit the F**k-It Button and learn from your own mistakes.

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Heidi Nicole, Life Coach

Isn’t that the truth, Gemma! If your spouse does not fit in the target audience, you have a whole different conundrum. Because, really, is he thinking as a 20 or 30-something woman who’s “stuck”. Likely not.

I have often found myself bouncing design specific ideas off him. If he doesn’t like it and I do, then that really does tell me something. In the most general way, maybe it doesn’t appeal to men, or him, or whatever. Perfect! That’s what I want! I don’t want to coach someone like my husband!

-Heidi

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Gemma

I hear that, Heidi! :)

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Pure Ella

Hell YES! ;)
A spouse should have interest in your business and if they have advice, they should freely be able to express it. It could be a great eye-opener for that person.
Friends could tell you what you want to hear – a spouse, because both your money and time is on the line -will usually speak the truth and give you honest advice – maybe not what you want to hear sometimes but who else will wake you up from your dream!!??

That said, it should not be negative either – its kind of an art form ~ it raising questions to help you be aware of the situation and not beat you up!

I’ve actually been successfully running a creative solutions business with my husband for over 10 years now! I started when I was 22 (we weren’t married then), worked for myself, got too busy and needed help, he helped me in the evenings and whenever he could but it got to the point where he left his stable job to focus on our business.

Now, 10 years later, I’m kind of moving in a different direction because of certain events that occurred in my life, like an illness and healing – but we still work and still have our clients.
He’s great at dealing with financial/ business side where as I’m the creative soul of our business ;)

I’m very grateful for his continued support throughout all this time and even now that I show less interest in our business but in my hobby, he’s still here for me urging me on ;)

It’s not for everyone, because it could create a lot of tension in the relationship. What worked for us is that we brought completely different skills to the table. Him the computer genius/ business/ financial side and me the creative.

This is where a lot of businesses started. Good luck!
Mind you, the day I announced that my husband was leaving his work and joining me full time, my sister said “But you know that 90% of married business partners end in divorce”?
Yup, don’t expect support everywhere! LOL

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Laura

I love it! When my husband and I started a screen printing business, it was very very hard for me to reign in my competitive side. I wanted to do all the “important” stuff. You know- MARKETING, customer service, haha…

We both have crazy entrepreneurial streaks and he loves to get me excited about his ideas, because I almost always run with them and create a business plan— and imagine my place at the center of it all! ;)

But I’ve learned to give him his space. If he really loves an idea, he will find ways to make it happen, and if he *really* needs my help, he will ask. And if I *really* can help him, he needs to find specific things I can help him with, so I don’t overwhelm him and squash the idea in the process.

Thanks Marie for another great vid! Your advice is always so timely and spot-on. Spot on, my dear.

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Claire

OMG I so relate to this. I can’t stand talking business with my husband. I find his approach to me completely patronising, he doest understand what I do or the real benefits, he doesn’t know what I struggle with and to be honest I find it such a massive drain on my energy I don’t even go there.

I’m aware that this is probably not the most healthiest thing in our relationship, but I just can’t stand unsolicited advice. commenst like
” have you tried x?” ” X is doing really well at what you are doing and I can hook you up”

I don’t want his advice in this area. He seems to forget I had an 18 year career before what I do now and that I’m well aware of what I’m doing and to be honest I just don’t want him to give me advice.

That all sounds so bitter and twisted, but it makes me feel bad , small and stupid ( which it does!) I don’t need that sort of energy, especially when I get fabulous support and advice from fabulous women and coaches I mix with in My world.

Issues? maybe? but I know what works for me and I get my advice elsewhere. ( i’m really not normally this negative ….. Honest! LOL!)

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Heidi Thorne

Ugh! Unfortunately, I can so agree with you Claire!

My husband has come up with some good ideas over the years. But he really doesn’t understand my business and, honestly, I want to keep my business and personal relationship separate.

You’re not being negative. Should we call it tough love? ;)

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Marwa

Tough Love, is tough! LOL.

I agree with trying to keep it separate. As Marie said, masculine and feminine energies are so different. Listen and trust yourself first!

Claire, let it out girl! Nothing wrong with expressing your frustrations. xoxo

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Kat

Great episode! Disagreements in my household used to stem from business conversations. My man and I are in similar fields and while many times I want his opinions, there are times when I just want support. We have devised a system where I now preface ideas with the response I’m hoping for- one of devil’s advocate/advice/etc or one of support. I’ve found that on the occasions when I needed his support, he’s really great at telling me what works about the idea, while still getting his ideas across to build upon it. That said, there are times when ideas thrive on him playing devil’s advocate. It’s a balancing act and definitely worth taking the time to work together on it!

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Carolyn Flynn

I can totally relate. My husband’s unsolicited, but well meaning advice has created many moments of frustration and irritation. But he’s also been my most valuable asset and resource.

I’ve discovered if I will ask him specific questions he does an amazing job at providing the support or insights I need. But when I’m feeling frustrated, insecure, or confused, or begin my questions with ‘I don’t know what to do’ then he gives me all kinds of advice I don’t want to hear.

He’s a valuable resource to me and my business or an irritation depending on me and how I’m presenting myself and my needs.

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Marwa

Hey Carolyn, Isn’t it interesting how, depending on our moods, feelings and needs of the given moment, our reactions change?

What you said totally resonated with me.

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Carolyn Flynn

Marwa – Absolutely! I’m glad I’m getting smart enough to see that if I’m not liking what he’s saying it may be more about my state of mind then his words. Remembering that he loves me and wants the best for me calms a lot of reactive responses.
– Carolyn

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Rebecca Portsmouth

Interesting! I would take advice from someone with expertise in what I was asking about … so if my partner had expertise in niche advertising, certainly I’d love his input on my marketing plan and promotions, but would less so his suggestions on stock investments if he didn’t already have success or expertise in that field.

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Tammra

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg

I think this relates to Question #1 of Marie’s video.

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Vicky Lyashenko

Ha ha! Tammra! I was thinking of this video! lol

My husband is the same way – he always want’s to fix it whether there’s a nail or no nail! LOL

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Erin

Ha ha ha ha! Thank you for sharing!! HA!!!

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Marwa

Hello All, long time follower of Marie, first time commenter. Woohoo!

This issue is pivotal in relationships. Its no coincidence that we are attracted to those who are like us.. we are looking for qualities in them that we would like to embody as well.

I have experienced this type of aggravation many times in my relationship. It bugs me when I feel as if our relationship is alllll about creating our businesses. When it gets to a point where most of what we talk about is BIZNESS. That is not why I am with my man! Its easy to get lost in the how’s, advice, constant discussions of how to ‘get better’.

While I do believe its important to receive loving advice MOST TIMES I find that I must trust myself. Listening to myself FIRST is priority. My personal voice tends to get lost amongst all the ‘mind chatter’ when I take advice that I didn’t really ask for in the first place.

Regardless, I will ask myself these questions, once again..
I especially liked “are you being a silly billy? (is that how it went?)

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Raquel Devillé

Wow, I have this problem. My husband has a career totally business unrelated. Before I used to talk with him about my business and he kept on giving me advice that I didn’t want, I just wanted to talk with someone that can reassure me and it was a disaster. I always finished crying or getting mad at him. We allowed ourselves this because we never fight so we could do it. But… it wasn’t funny.

So I told him that I just wanted him to be my husband and I didn’t want any creative advice. But if he really wanted to participate on my business he could help me (big time) by keeping the focus, to remind me of my mistakes even if I scream and shout, to insist on the selling part where I’m actually lousy, to correct my grammar mistakes instead of re-writing my texts. Yesterday was one of those days. He prevented me from making a mistake and he corrected my texts. It was perfect.

Today I have this great video that I need to share with him later. Thanks!

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Christine Matteson

Love this q and a! Curious, about the books on the table next to you?

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Alexis Fedor

I learned this through an amazing relationship with a man who has an incredible business mind. We were romantically involved, and I saw how much he wanted to help me with developing my business. The more I let him do that, the stronger our relationship grew, in and out of the bedroom.

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Jennifer Kennedy

Oh snap! You mean guys can’t read our minds? I’ve been operating with this idea for forever!!! :)

All joking aside, I can raise my hand up to the fact that I ask a question and then get frustrated when I get a response. But, most of the time, it’s not the fact that he is responding that I get made at. I get frustrated because he tends to go on and on and on. He’s a tech guy so he can be long winded and technical! Most of the time, I need simple pieces of actionable advice.

I like the idea of starting the conversation off with what I’m trying to get out of the chat. Either, “I really just want to talk” or “I need your advice”.

I also need to be better at just thanking him for his help — whether that is advice, helping make breakfast, or whatever. Thanks for the reminder!

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Danielle

Yes! I take advice from my wife….now! I used to feel in competition with her and that if i wasn’t “earning” my success on my own then it wasn’t “mine”. I realize now that I was being immature. Her success is mine and vice versa! We are committed to building a lasting legacy as a family and that can’t be accomplished if we are in competition with each other and not utilizing our individual gifts that help to make OUR WHOLE stronger. Great Video Marie:)

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Vicky Lyashenko

This is so awesome! Thank you for this, Marie!

My hubby always has amazing advice for my business. He’s an amazing mastermind buddy! Although he sometimes doesn’t get my authentic self in business.

Before starting a business, my biggest fear was to become more successful than my husband and loosing him for my business. It just seems like it’s happening everywhere these days. I did not want to risk it and I was holding back for the longest time.

I talked with a lot of my peers and almost all of them said what Marie just said. It’s important to hustle and be the decision maker in business – but when it comes to spending time with hubby, or even being around him – I really have to switch back to being a sweet little wifey. It’s SO hard sometimes, especially when I’m stressing out about something. But is definitely the key.

I absolutely love the advice my husband gives me – it’s all about being open and thanking him with your full heart.

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Melissa

My husband and I have a pretty good thing going: he is a performer/MC/entrepreneur and I am a director/coach by trade… He’s used to taking direction and really seems to value my input when he solicits it. Most of the time it’s a very collaborative arrangement and we enjoy being a dynamic duo. My only issue is that I feel like I’m too often wearing the pants and giving direction. I don’t often get the opportunity to be “in my femininity” as you put it. Thoughts?

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Coco Berlin

I love the last point, Marie! I would love to get business advice from a successful entrepreneur whom I admire.

I also love getting advice from my man, he is in a completely different field (IT) and does not have his own business. But we got to know each other over 10 years ago while we both studied architecture. We worked together all the time, so this is actually how our relationship started. 1 year after being a dream team we fell in love…

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Kathleen

I just watched a hilarious video (google “It’s not about the nail”) that covers point one (the business tease). I totally relate!

I’m the kind of person who likes to mull over something, discuss it, share it, discuss it some more and would love for my husband just to listen and ask key questions. He would like to solve the problem or find a solution. Eventually I get there, but sometimes there is tension because I (unfortunately) need to take a circuitous route before I see the brilliance of his pov. :)

Great vid, Marie. Thank you.

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Terrance Lovings

Hi some people thinks they knowmy life only I can find the way because I know How I am and what I need to do, I’m so thanksful for all the advice that has made me a better soul, mind, and body, Amen Yall) Much Love B*jamin)

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Ariana Blossom

I know this so intimately!
I give my boyfriend big props for helping me get my business where it is today. His advice and feedback on all sorts of things – website, speaking engagements, business and personal coaching attempts – have made a huge impact.
On the flip side, sometimes I just need to talk out a concern and he’ll pick up the ball, run out of the stadium, down the street, and into an entirely different neighborhood. Meanwhile, my eyes are glazed over and I can’t even remember what my initial question was. I have to interrupt him at this point, thank him for his input and tell him he’s gone farther than I can follow. It’s a constant negotiation of what I need and what he has to offer.

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Nicole

Hi :) As a married entrepreneur, I think sometimes we get upset when our husbands offer business advice , or advice about anything, because they do get in the “fix it” mode and do not really figure out the underlying problem, which is up to us to do–or do not realize that we just need to talk it out. I have learned to say, “Thank you, honey. I will consider that.” Sometimes I realize, after I am done being annoyed, he may have offered something awesome and when I shut him down it makes us both feel bad.

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angelina

I love this! I was just reading an article about how Darwin and his theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ does not appear to be true! Recent research is showing that the organisms, animals, humans and systems that work together synergistically and cooperatively are the ones that live the longest, healthiest and most fulfilling lives. Our world is not meant to be one of competition. Yes, of course there are times for both men and women to use feminine and masculine energy- and learning to balance those energies in a cooperative, synergistic manner inside ourselves and in all of our relationships is where creativity, expansion and connection can really come forth and flourish.

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Jennifer Jane - Yogatherapist + Motivation Lifestyle support mentor

Whoa!! I thought this only happened to me.
I use to get really reactive (and still do sometimes) when my guy gives me business advice, but luckily I have come to know over time that when I get angry about it, it’s usually because it’s something I am resisting to hear or work on.

I tell me boyfriend now that I am like a helium balloon and he is the one holding the string. When I start to fly away, he grabs the string and brings me back down to earth ;). That’s how I have come to view his advice, and I can now take it in a constructive way and learn from it.

Whatever makes us angry, is usually something that can make us grow.

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Teri Blaschke

My husband and I are business partners so the ideas/advice flow both ways. We are both in somewhat different capacities and depend on each others particular expertise to make things run smoothly but a sounding/bouncing board is always a good thing. There can always be something we miss that another may see. Our business is family owned and in matters of large consequence we seek the thoughts, ideas and advice of our parents as well. We may not always agree but we respect each others opinions and work to make the majority happy while making the business success our common goa.l

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Rachael

I definitely take business advice from my husband. It’s nice to have someone from outside the business give his two cents when I’m feeling uncertain about things. I have found this to be slightly problematic in the past though, because I realize that he just wants me to be happy and sometimes that means telling me what I want to hear. We’ve both agreed that he only gives advice when it’s solicited and I’ve been reaching outside to a business mentor for more help instead. It’s been a learning process but we’re in a really good place now.

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Paula Richard

Thank God for you, Maria!!
My man is a very successful entrepreneur and is always asking me how much I made in my biz last week. UURRRRRRRRGH!!!!
I respect his wisdom, I don’t even think about competing with him but he does get offended if I tell him not to ask questions so I very much appreciate the verbiage.
YOU ROCK MY WORLD!!

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Teresa

Love this episode!
My husband is very successful in wine marketing and third generation in the field. I’ve come to realize he is the perfect sounding board for ideas and perspective, as he is not engaged in the whole online world like I am and he mostly deals with people face-to-face, so he is much more objective and sees things more clearly than I can at times.
We’ve actually had a lot of fun riffing about tag lines and brain storming about products, services and benefits. Aside from being an amazing partner and father to our son, it turns out I got myself a really great marketing support person, too.

Once we established some ground rules about setting up specific times to talk, rather than me just randomly asking him for help whenever I felt like it, it’s really been working out beautifully. I could not ask for a more supportive partner, and feel extremely fortunate. Awesome Q and A! Thank you Marie.

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Teri

ciao bella!

re taking or giving advice.. I suppose my answer is going to be a litle
different– and different is good:)

one of my first teachers kind of instilled.. only if you are asked ( re
healing work, but I think it applies here:)..

anytime anything is unasked for.. it feels like an intrusive energy.

So in terms of how we take or receive advice from a partner-spouse-other..
often depends.. not on the person.. but on the presentation. Too often,
in familiar relationships.. partners can over-step(?) in their desire to
help and be supportive… and while it isn’t that the advice is not wanted
or the person not appreciated.. the informal(?) format.. lines up too many
variables to create resistance.

If it were me with a partner.. I might start with.. i was just thinking
about your situation ( insert whatever info)… and had some thoughts…
would I be out of line if I shared them? — or– would you like an
outside opinion/ perspective? by always asking first.. it is allowing the
recipient to be engaged in the process and not feel like it is a
power-over situation..

sometimes, though.. even seeing things clearly.. the partner has to step
back and let them crash. My ex-whatever and I had our own business (
which living and working, was a little too much “together” ) but
anyway… after a while i learned just to step back and say nothing,
because of the resentment of someone “knowing more” than he did. he would
often look at me later and say– you knew that was going to happen..
didn’t you? — maybe if I had been wiser back then.. more savvy.. i would
have been able to broach the information-sharing ground with more
diplomacy….

as for being on the receiving end… i am pretty open. if someone is
considerate, well-thought and collaborates well, even verbally.. I thrive
on that energy of ideas bouncing around… so long as it isn’t about
someone trying to say.. youre wrong/ stupid/crazy and i’m brilliant better
whatever..

so i suppose the simple rule is to follow the i’m ok, you’re ok guideline:)

Teri

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Blake Ashley Freedom

Thank you for this Marie! You are so entertaining and full of great knowledge! I always look forward to your videos on Tuesdays :-). My partner is my soulmate and he is great at supporting me in my business — but only because I CLEARLY communicate with him what I NEED from him — so he knows. If I’m needing him to just listen and hold space for me, I tell him and he will sit there and listen, holding my hand if I need it. If I need some advice, I ask him for it and he gives it to me gently. If I don’t like the delivery of his advice, I let him know and he reframes. Our relationship has grown so much, so quickly because we clearly communicate what we are needing from one another, even in the difficult moments, and we NEVER go to bed angry at one another. We’d rather both fall on our swords saying “I’m sorry” to each other than live in pride. Clear communication is the #1 tool to getting what you want in life – period. :-)

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Allison

Thank you, thank you, thank you Marie! My husband and I are working on this issue right now, and the timing of this episode could not be more perfect for us. As always, you zeroed right in on the heart of the matter.

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Sheri D. Maple

I’m of another mind with this as I’m the type of person who welcomes another voice because it allows me to see something another way. For me it’s a part of that creativity and thought process. If my husband or significant other is asking me to question something, then it allows me to be open and perhaps see something that I may not have seen before. It’s a matter of perception. Perception maybe reality, but the question becomes is it true.

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Ekaterina Ramirez

I’m a visionary and my man is a thinker. I used to reject my husband’s advice and often later on I realized he was right. =) Great lessons for me.

Now I practice listening to him carefully cause he always gives excellent and timely advice. And, of course, it reflects on our relationship as we appreciate each other more and he feels good when he can help.

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Siobhan Pyburn

Great advice! You’ve really broken down the Q into a bunch of useful strategies… just one of them would probably solve the problem, let alone all four!

But Marie. Was that supposed to be a BRITISH accent in the beginning?? We don’t all sound like that you know. :P

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Jessica

My guy gives me unsolicited advice when I sometimes just want a listener. If I don’t want to absorb it then, I file it away to think about later when I feel differently. It’s usually advice I can apply in some way, even if I don’t want to hear it in that moment. And he’s marvelous at predicting outcomes – it’s uncanny how often he’s right about how some action that I take will affect the business.

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Mimika Cooney

Oh honey don’t you know me! My hubby isn’t in my line of business and being a bloke likes to “fix” things. So sometimes I want him to listen and he feels the need to “Tell me” what to do. Urgh. But the dude knows me and can see things I don’t see, so once I get over the initial irritation I find he has some really great stuff!

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Nadine

My husband and I work really well together and I value his judgment. He is much more assertive in certain scenarios and has a more left-brained mind than I. We ALWAYS chat about our businesses and debate the merits of setting up others. He is my most trusted – and unbiased – advisor. I truly appreciate his critical assessments as they are always well-thought out and on-point. Could I do without his feedback? Sure… but it would make my life and progress more challenging (not to mention slower).

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Haidji

Ciao Bella,
funny to have an Email from Italy where I’m having an exhibition at this moment, you can see more about in my blog http://www.haidji.blogspot.com
and yes, I take busines advice from my partner, mostly his advices are very good and helpfull without beeing invasive or deciding for me, he respect my space and point of view, is also a good listener.
I think that we complete eachother in the way we see the world.
In the past, I never asked or acepted someone elses advice,
and I never believed that this would happen to me, to share also my work* thoughts and ideas with someone, Art is the air that my sould breath…
but with him, happened naturally and feels right since begin,
to speak about everything.

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Haidji

I sent before finish…wanted to say also
Grazie Mile
Buona serata a tutti

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Maria

I can totally relate with the “fixing things” mentality ;)

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Monica Lee

I love business advice from my husband!! I have even gotten him to do videos with me (ok, that sounds weird…) BUSINESS videos. I think he gets tired of all my questions so I have to do just the opposite and pipe down a bit myself and remember to be a married partner. I had relegated one hour a week where I could just get his advice about my business which I thought was clever. This has really ended up being a couple drinks at our local bar where I get him relaxed (liquored up) ha! and we genuinely enjoy the conversation.

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Heather (different one!)

His business advice was only annoying when I was feeling shame and guilt around not being “enough” BOOO! Once I came around to recognizing my strengths, I could see his AWESOMENESS. Now we have a tougher problem…we talk about business TOO much.

We put an end to biz in the bedroom in a really creative way…first one to bring up ANYTHING business must give…

Now I just bait him into talking about business for fun…Hey, whatever works when your in biz and bed with the same person!

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Tatiana Escalada

Like always great business and life advise. :-)

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Jen Kunkel

I ask for feedback from my guy all the time! He’s not in business, however he is very insightful & I get great input from him. I can relate to other family members not taking business advice from me! In fact, many times my mom has raved about some great ideas she got from this person or that person and she’s so excited about it. Funny, because I’ve given her the exact same advice, maybe more than once. They just don’t hear it the same way.

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Kim

My husband actually represents my target customer for my B2B business, so it was with reluctance that I agreed to listen to his comments about my website and implement his changes. I usually would hate to accept comments/criticism from him or other family, but in this case I swallowed my pride and listened. Hope it works out!

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Nikhil

Hey Marie,

That was an interesting question, so here I am, writing you my perspective on whether or not I take advice from my better half.

You read that right – Pradnya, my wife, IS DEFINITELY the better half of us. In more ways than one too. I’d say it’s something like the grass being greener on the other side. We are both in awe of each other, now that I think of it. She is a very practical, self-conscious, and socially intelligent person. She also thinks very highly of my capabilities, but I am inclined to think she is just being generous!

She’s a bit more religious than I’d like her to be, but I have never interfered with her way of living her life. I expect the same in return, although she has a way of getting her way!

Finally, YES, I DO TAKE HER ADVICE – EVEN IN BUSINESS. We started a small business of coaching school students – 7, 8, 9, and 10th grades – when our daughter was born. The idea was that in the event that I lost the job, we would not be stranded and our daughter would not suffer as a result. That was in 2001. The coaching institute has grown significantly.

Our institute, although primarily a business, also provides subsidized education for those who need it. We discuss various aspects of the business – in person or over the phone, since I stay away from home on account of the job. Because I have been changing jobs, I haven’t really been able to look after the coaching business. My wife has been doing it the last ten years or so. Now I am planning to save money for a couple of years and then start out on my own. I might start earlier too; I badly want to be with my family, you see.

The new business will involve providing high-quality website content for businesses. The idea remains the same, more or less – our daughter should have the best of everything and education.

I see no reason why I shouldn’t consult my wife in business matters. After all, she’s more business-like than I am! She consults me when she does not understand something that I can, doesn’t she? So why would I want to be any different? I feel very comfortable with the kind of mutual understanding, respect, and willingness to listen that we share. Fortunately, I haven’t an iota of chauvinism in me, nor does she.

We’d like to be earning a little more than we do, but we are aware that we might NEVER earn exactly as much as we’d like to – that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Being or becoming happier is more important than becoming richer, I feel. And our acceptance of each other’s positive AND negative traits makes it possible for both of us to LIVE better.

Sure, money plays a major part in shaping happiness – if not actually buying it. But we are already doing the best we can – in tandem. She does it in Baroda and I do it here in Ahmedabad.

We hope our daughter also finds someone just as accommodating, one day. We hope she manages to live just as effectively – and happily.

Amen to that!

Loving regards,

Nikhil Khandekar

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Elaine Dolan

Hope I remember to go back and listen to this clip later today, but had to belly laugh about the topic!
My ex-hub’s ego is maybe bigger than mine, but he’s so savvy at understatement that he can pull stuff off as only astute businessmen can.
He had this excellent piece of wisdom which I think of every so often with
appreciation: Lightly, briefly, and often mention what you’d like to see implemented in your office and then watch it manifest as soon as you hear someone else take credit for the idea.

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Dana

There are times that I resist my significant other’s advice because he is not involved with the business as much as I am. This business is like my child and we all know how advice about how we should raise our children is not accepted with a smile. I am teaching myself to be open-minded to his ideas and have conversations instead of debates about how to incorporate his ideas with mine.

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Erin Flynn

I frequently asked my husband for advice, but he tended to not understand my business or that I’m trying to do what I LOVE and not just make money… so he’d come up with great ideas that would make a lot of money, but that I didn’t want to do (not my ideal clients). Then he didn’t understand why I didn’t want to take his advice and it created friction. I’ve stopped asking, but it kind of sucks because I’d love his feedback.

I do, fortunately, have some great business-owner friends who are closer to my ideal client avatar, so I bounce ideas off of them all the time!

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Dana

I truly understand where you are coming from here. My husband as well sees the business through dollar sign glasses. LOL Me on the other hand I have a passion for what I do and understand that through time, hard work and patience the money will come. So I have started surrounding myself by like minded people to gain insights on what they are doing to help the growth of their business and I have also opted not to talk about what I am doing with my spouse until it is already done. It’s hard because I want to share my ideas and thoughts with him, but on the other hand I don’t want the negative feedback that I so often receive. My husband works at a Fortune 500 company and he thinks that the marketing ideas that they have implemented will also work for us. And I have tried to explain to him that first they have the financial backing for grand marketing campaigns and they also have a team of people to assist. I am a team of one in all aspects of our business. But you know what Erin, I am a very spiritual person and I believe that just as the ideas are given to me from God, He will will surround me with the people that I need to help me take my business to the next level; rather it be my husband or someone else. Good Luck to you!

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Sarah E.

Thank you for being gender neutral in your spouse terms! Much appreciated. :) My girlfriend and I often share biz advice.

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Rowena List

I believe in only taking advice from people who know what they are talking about or have been where I want to go.
That would not be my husband. I might telling him about a scenario and get his thoughts……..man thoughts!! and then move on.
If he were a business man in the same type of biz I would ask him for help but he is not.

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Jason Hudson

I am not married so I don’t get advice that way, but my mother tends to offer or give business advice rather ask or not. This is not always wanted and makes me feel like a child again. I know what I am doing I am 42 years old. She does give good sound advice once in awhile though and I do take that for what it is.

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The Get In Shape Girl

Girl, you are PREACHIN’ to the choir! My boyfriend and I both run businesses from our home. We are together most hours of the day. I enjoy it, but sometimes I want to tell him to butt out and vice versa. And you know what? We do! It’s important to be honest, open and have clear communication. If I want help, I ask. If I want to vent, I say that beforehand.

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Natalie / Half Asleep Studio

My boyfriend (someday husband) is actually the reason why I’ve been able to follow my dreams – I took his advice to quit my job and break out on my own to start a business much sooner than I had planned, and 7 months later it has seriously paid off! Sometimes these guys know what they’re talking about, at least when it comes to how your work affects you & your home life – sometimes you can’t see it yourself or you think you can just power through and it will be okay.

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Melinda K

We just had this discussion this week! Hubby is SO supportive of my wild dreams, and this week I got a teeny bit upset (OK, I stormed off, only the 2nd time in my life!!!) because I felt like I couldn’t get my opinion across in a business discussion.
Love these 4 questions, I was totally being a business tease!! Oops!
But it did give me a chance to really look at my heart, and for us to share deeply. I find that I regularly need reminders that I don’t need to be a silly billy, and to keep my mind and heart open to him. He’s awesome!!!

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Maryellen Smith

In the spot where the video should be on my screen there is a white blank. Does anyone else have that issue? I would LOVE to watch this because a friend of mine shared this exact problem with me today.

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Maryellen Smith

Just realized it’s a Flash Plugin problem. Now…to figure out how to unsubscribe to follow-up posts…

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Lara Berg

Thanks, yo!

My partner and I are building two businesses together… a yoga biz, and a music/entertainment biz (for weddings and other events). And wow, are we going through a lot together… ups and downs! Growing, learning, succeeding!

I find that when we’re at our best is when he’s in his masculine and I’m in my feminine. I can get caught up a bit being the ‘go getter’ ambitious one and consistently remind myself to ‘flow like a lady’ and be a Goddess in biz. This allows me to operate in my best way and opens up space for him to operate in his best way.

If I let my Taurus masculine bull force out too much… growth is hindered.

I gotta let go of control… trust… and dance with our journey together. Let him take the reigns … it’s all about BALANCE.

And he has great advice and ideas that I take into full account. Heck! He is my Lover and he always has my bests interests at heart <3 So of course, I listen!

I'm learning the most about myself in all of this, and getting in touch with
my core as a woman :) Wow.

Sending love to all you amazing Goddesses!

Hugs,
Lara

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Mike

My wife has an art business that she LOVES, we have had every single issue, such as me offering advice at the wrong time, in the wrong way. Like her being defensive. Then it is my turn to be defensive. Plus me just plain being wrong about the nature of her business. We have pretty much fixed this, and still talk about everything more and more successfully. I would like to say I know why, but it is a mystery. The love just keeps growing, and we learn how to be each other spiritual teachers, by accident or purpose!

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Emily Sullivan

Thanks for this vid Marie. I’ve been in a relationship with my husband for 9 years now- just celebrated our first wedding anniversary- and we are both relatively young- I’m 24 and he’s 23- and thankfully our life callings were both so strong that we each own our own business. He’s an incredible musician and I help people create an inner body map for success and health in their life.

I jumped on the entrepreneurship/business minded bandwagon much earlier than he did so for awhile he was the one getting all the nudges to get online and really start a business doing what he loves. Now I’m helping him put together his first online program- an online banjo school for intermediate players.

Also over the years of our relationship, the more I have advanced with the work I do, and the more I’ve shared it with him, he’s become my ideal customer avatar so I have direct access to someone who I can ask questions and get super valuable insights from in terms of where my ideal client is at and what they want.

I have to give credit to our successful relationship to getting Universal Health Principles sessions (the work I do) to heal our individual “stuff” and create a deeper connection, and also to staying committed to our individual goals and not relying on the other to give us what we need. The clearer we have each gotten on what we want to be creating in life the more we have each been able to support the other.

And now I’m starting a program for women and men who want to improve the relationships in their lives- both internal and external.

What an amazing journey we are all on. The most essential key I have discovered is that what we foster and create internal is what we create externally.

Thanks Marie!

xo
Emily

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Dawn Priestley

Oh yes… and now I’ve had to ask him for financial help – so I feel really accountable to him right before my new website launches in August.
The way he words his inquiries (via text as we don’t live in the same city) come across as rather abrupt e.g. “So when is the next payment for the website due? When is this really going active and you hopefully start making some money with it?”
When I first read it I get defensive, and then I realize he just wants to make sure it’s gonna work for me.
Great tips! I will be taking these all into account.

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Trista

I am dating someone that loves giving me advice as it relates to my small business. His dad ran a very successful restaurant and he is a doctor with a passion for the business aspect of his field.

Soon after we started dating, he started offering more and more suggestions. Since I’m not accustomed to any help/advice, I got mad and felt that he was being overly critical and nosey. I didn’t get upset because his suggestions weren’t good ones, I just thought “why are you in my business?” (Literally, haha)

I recently (read two days ago) realized I was being a Silly Billy and should love the fact that he cares enough to offer suggestions and be involved, I go to him more often. If he offers unsolicited advice, I’ve learned to say thank you and leave it alone.

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Jennifer P.

I’m just starting out and my husband generally stays out of the business. The only time his advice bugs me is when he disagrees with an action/process I’m already decided on. (Not that he isn’t right sometimes!)

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Sandra Harriette

This thing about men wanting to be needed…I keep hearing this and it blows my mind. This was unexpectedly spot on. It’s not the biggest of my struggles, but someone had to say something about the topic. You did. Thanks Marie!

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Ms Tui

Thanx Marie, For t realization that Im t biggest business tease eva! Now I know I can adjust accordingly I feel t tension disappating as I type. Howeva I listen most of t time to my significant other in my life when it comes to his business advice. Cheerz

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Tracy

I can so relate to this, I used to get really triggered when my husband would give me advice. I was making it mean, ‘that I wasn’t good enough’ When I realised this and opened my mind and heart to the situation and listened to his advice, it was fantastic. He has a really different perspective them me which can be so helpful! I could also see how good he felt when he was supporting me and sharing his knowledge. He literally lit up! He has been in business a lot longer than me and I now really appreciate his words of wisdom :) Thanks Marie x

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Alyxandria - Straight Up Talk

Great episode! So hard to deal with things when you mix business and personal, especially romantic personal. I would love to see an episode on what to do when your boyfriend/husband feels threatened by your success. You mentioned not competing with your spouse and I don’t compete with my boyfriends, but my ambition and success has sparked some weird compete gene in them, usually out of the blue and not even related to business.

For instance, I once decided that I wanted to ride my bicycle from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. on a two-day ride that was coming up in two months. I hadn’t been riding at all, wasn’t in the best of shape after a prolonged illness and had two months to get my butt in gear. So I bought a new bike, starting riding to and from work every day (25 miles total each day) and taking super long rides every weekend. By the end of a month, I was doing a 100-mile ride and was ready to take on that two-day, bad boy, wicked awesome ride through beautiful country, which was a sweet experience … and my boyfriend was friggin’ fried that I was achieving my goal. I stated the goal, I did what I needed to do to prepare for it, and I reached it … and he was totally green. I know how I handled that one, but I’d love to hear what you would do because the green meanie doesn’t just come out when you have more business success than your partner. It shows up … seemingly whenever!

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Anna

I’m so glad you decided to tackle this subject, as it obviously can stir debate. My husband and I have been working together as entrepreneurs in separate business since I was 18…. (26 now. Yes, I got married at 18, and YES we are still together! HA- In yo face negative statistics! lol) and boy at some points has it gotten tough. But one thing we have always strived on is never letting business debates affect our personal relationships. Of course it’s tough to separate the two, but like you said in the video, if you consider where the other person is coming from and truly analyze your feelings about it, it’s progress all around for everyone.
Thanks for another great vid Marie! :)

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John S.

Marie, your advice is spot on. The only other real caveat I would add is that your spouse can be a good sounding board for fresh idea’s. I have learned over the last 33 years of marriage, that my spouses first intuition can be a correct one. So, your spouse can be a very good asset in business either way, his for her’s or vice versa.

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Nakeia

I see that some people have negatively interpreted the “out man your man” aspect of your advice Marie.

And I gotta say, you have a very valid point. I have been in business with my husband for the past 12 years and I have run other businesses of my own, and every time we hit a moment of difficulty, a form competitiveness has been involved. It wasn’t really about who can do it better as much as it was about let me see if “I” can do it. Most people only need the “I” or ego when there is some form of lack— especially lack of validation.

Sometimes we (women) get on a mission to prove things ourselves. That can be interpreted as competitive. We need to stay connected to the part of us that attracted our men in the first place. I call it my “BC” days (before children AND before Charles<— that's my husband's name.)

The modern women is amazing. We have the ability to hold down a business + a family + our own personal stuff with grace and strength and that can be intimidating at times.

If both parties honor each other by approaching both their work and personal relationship with tender love and care (I just love saying that), there will be no room for competiveness.

That is how I keep a happy home and thriving business ;-)

Great advice Marie!

PS I love the conversation that's happening on here today :-)

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit

Oh my gosh, you just totally hit the nail on the head for me (and us!). My boyfriend is highly successful and is always trying to help me with my business decisions. It drives me loco and has really impacted our relationship. I know that I’m crazy NOT to take some of his advice… thanks so much for this, Marie. Great to know I’m not the only one that deals with this same issue!

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Eve Soban

I actually ask my husband for advice all the time. I need to pounce things off someone and he’s the only one who knows every single detail of what I’m working on, so I don’t have to preface the conversation with anything. I can jump right into “You know that thing…. bla bla bla, what do you think?” and he’ll give me his best answer.

Sometimes neither one of us knows what to do, so he tells me to research it further. Or he gives me his first thoughts and if it’s lame I laugh and tell him it’s lame. Sometimes it’s right on, and I go with it, etc …

It works great, we have no issues with it. I think it has to do with the fact that he knows I can figure it out on my own anyway, but it’s nicer to have two heads sometimes. Knowing that I don’t really NEED help makes him feel less pressure to give a “fix it” solution.

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martha wilkinson

right words at the right time.

my husband & i are in the same business – he’s a very successful novelist. me – not published yet. he gives me all kinds of help — not only “how-to”s on crafting, but also sharing his many contacts with me. i am eternally grateful. i really look up to him and i know he’s my lifeline.

that’s one business. the other is my online estate jewelry biz. struggling heartily to get it off the ground. he has amazing ideas and input.

i am hardheaded. don’t know why — think it has something to do with me wanting to make a success of myself on my own. maybe i’m just flat-out stupid. everything he says makes 1000% sense. why the hell don’t i just do it? i don’t know. something to ponder on. better yet, how about lots of things to do? the things he tells me to do? would be more of a win-win, that’s for sure. and i wouldn’t have to stare back at this fucking mortgage payment and stack of visa bills.

thanks for the kick in the butt, marie.

shit.
martha

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Llyane @ FrenchOnSkype

Awesome tips, Marie, and the one thing that followed me from your video is that men need to be needed.
Huge!
Thank you so much,
Llyane

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Akirah

Awful. Ugh. Telling women to “stay in their feminine?” What you basically did was make the words “man” and “successful” synonymous. My husband and I are a team and if I’m successful, we’re both successful. I don’t think she should heighten his insecurities by being majorly competitive because that’s not healthy in a relationship. But that has nothing to do with gender; it’s just common sense! Furthermore, she can’t “out-man” her husband because she’s not a man. Gosh. And what about homosexual couples. I’m so disappointed in this advice. You’re usually spot on, but this video missed the target, big time.

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Akasha

I like some of the other tips in the video, but I agree. Whenever someone says that women need to be more feminine around their men, it brings up pictures of 1950s America, women in pearls and dresses hanging at home while the man went out to make the money. And nowadays, as women go out and build their own businesses, they are still supposed to fall back into tired, old stereotypes in their free time. The old feminine/masculine paradigm doesn’t work today, if it ever really did.

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Marie Forleo

Hi Akirah -what you basically did was not fully listen, or read. See this — http://www.marieforleo.com/2013/06/spouse-business-advice/#comment-83964

Also, this advice was for this SPECIFIC woman, who happens to be in a heterosexual relationship. One answer does not work for all people — as you should know!!

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Akirah

I just think the phrase “don’t our-man your man” communicates something very powerful (and not in a good way). I agree with a lot of what you said because its common sense, but I feel the way it was packaged is a little damaging. Those phrases…outmanning your man…embrace your feminine…they feel limiting to me. It just wasn’t good advice to me. And yes, your advice was for her specific situation, but for homosexual couples watching the video, it’d be hard to relate that message to their situation. That’s all. Clearly I’m in the minority here; most people seem on board with what you said and that’s fine. I just wanted to throw in my two cents that even though it seems subtle, it’s actually quite powerful language — don’t outman your man.

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Marie Forleo

Totally understand that Akirah, and I’m fully aware that people hear things in different ways — so I really do appreciate your share. I also fully understand that each of us have unique perspectives — which is awesome and what makes the world go round! And, I’d like to also point out that Sarah, who has a girlfriend http://www.marieforleo.com/2013/06/spouse-business-advice/#comment-83994
found value to serve her relationship as well.

Again, I respect that my language feels limiting for you, and I also hope you’re willing to zoom out and see the bigger message about investigating how competing with your partner may (key word — may) not always work in an intimate relationship. With love, xoxo M

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Alejandra Ruani

I had to re-watch the video to understand this controversial exchange….

This debate is often caused by how you define power and success.

Gloria Feldt, the #1 practical female activist, taught me a very wise lesson in our interview for the HuffPost:

“We have in our minds an old, outdated and no longer really functional definition of power: as the ‘power over’– the power to make you do something. So we, as women, at best we’ve been discriminated against, and at worst we’ve been raped and beaten. So, why would we want that kind of power? But we can change the definition of power in our own minds. From that outdated and hierarchical male-defined ‘power over,’ to an expansive, full of promise, innovative ‘power to.’ The power to make life better. For ourselves, our families, our communities, our world. The power to transform our work, our businesses, our creativity. Women will then say ‘I want that kind of power.’ As soon as we can change the paradigm of power in our own thinking and in our culture, we’ll be in a much healthier place for women and for men. For children and for everybody.”

“From the boardroom, to the bedroom,” Gloria says. This mindset touches all aspects of your life.

Read the full article here (I must link it for copyright issues):

“Do You Really Want That Leadership Position? 7 Lessons Gloria Feldt Taught Me About Our New Female Power.” http://huff.to/1121CHK

Best,
Alejandra

Akirah

I totally get the bigger message. Competing with your partner is bad news bears…no need to compete with someone who is supposed to be on your team! Besides, my husband and I are too complementary to compete with each other; our team works MUCH better when we’re in sync and taking steps forward together. (I’m a social worker/writer and he’s a chef…but we also own a restaurant together.)

Robin Oxford-Davis

You’re not alone Akirah, I’m feeling you. I have to admit Marie that the “out man your man and stay in the feminine” comment did strike me as exhausting. I mean, we have enough to do to just stay the course much less to have to think about whether we are “out manning our man” or being feminine enough. Even though I get it Marie, that healthy relationships take intention and balance from both parties but far too often it is the woman who’s dancing the fastest to make it work for everybody!

Karen

Hi Marie,

What a great topic! This is real mixed bag for me, because sometimes I want his input and sometimes I don’t. He is strong in areas that I’m really weak in (details for instance), and he is whip smart so he always thinks of something I didn’t. When I ask him for his input, I will listen so long as he doesn’t go on too long or present too many suggestions at once. He’s like an idea machine, once you crank him up he can go on forever.

When he gets into that idea machine mode, I have to tell him that I’m getting overwhelmed and overloaded, but to keep the ideas in mind because I’ll ask him again at some future date.

Where I go ballistic however, is when he questions my opinion on something I know he doesn’t know anything about (like my area of expertise–astrology, for instance). OMG, my male side gets so pissed when he feels disrespected! Then I tell him to stuff it, or I’m going to kill him! When I calm down though, I always feel bad for overreacting, so I go to him with an attitude of curiosity to find out what he was actually trying to say, not what I heard him say. It’s usually something interesting too, damn him :-) Just kidding, he is truly an asset to me and sometimes I wish he got more involved in my business than he does, but I can understand why he may be a little gun shy about expressing interest and opinions when I haven’t specifically asked him to.

When it comes to his work, I’ll offer a suggestion in a way I learned from Dr. Pat Allen, my fantastic therapist from my 20s (I was SO confused about men, and being a woman — she saved my life).

I’ll say to him, “I have a suggestion about that if you would like to hear it.” And he’ll either say yes or no (he has said No before, and wow, was it hard to just accept that, especially when the solution seemed so obvious to me). The key is to not ask that unless I’m fully prepared to hear a No.

It’s respectful of his masculine, and primes him to actually hear me because I ASKED him first if he wants to hear it. I use this is other situations too, even with women, and it works really well.

Great topic, Maria!

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Trevor

Thanks Marie,
Helpful and insightful as always.
You’re the best!
If this helps anyone. One of the things I have found is to be in discussion and share what I am up to, the big and the small. I take a focused interest in her and ask her what is happening with her in her business.
I also haven’t learnt from seeing when she lights up, is when I ask her for advice on answers I am seeking.
By us both being in constant communication, asking, and sharing our relationship continues to grow and prosper.
What I did though was set a goal some time back, I would be attentive and open and interested and supportive to my girl. And from this our relationship is strong, fun and sexy.
What I get from your Q&A is some ego going on. Which the Force is Strong in Young Jedi Entrepreneurs yet to master the management of taking feedback, asking for help and being open to the responses.
Thank you Marie
Always a pleasure.
Trevor Russell

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Katie

Marie….I loved this one!! very good.

I am single so it was also very valuable.

thank you for your advice

:-)

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Susanna Halonen

What a great video post!
This is something that I struggled with a lot last year when I made the shift from corporate world to entrepreneurship with Happyologist.
As my partner’s been self-employed for 10 years he had the world of advice to offer and at first it was a bit overwhelming and I did feel I got a bit defensive.

Today, we’ve managed to create the perfect solution. We have a 2 hour strategy session per week for my business in which he offers his advice on any specifics or helps me with any challenges I might have. He also sends any interesting tips/articles he sees via email but let’s me figure out if I want to use them. He’s learning to not overwhelm me & I’m learning to not take his advice as criticism (being a self-critical perfectionist) but as opportunities to learn!

It’s great to have his support and encouragement, I really couldn’t have made this transition without him! And as Marie points out, I’d be a fool not to listen to him! :)

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Susanna Halonen

In the excitement of this video I forgot to say I just yesterday
wrote about 3 little known factors that could either make your relationship suffer or flourish – and these 3 issues, to which I also offer solutions, are equally relevant when talking business with your spouse!
If you’re curious have a look here :) http://www.happyologist.co.uk/idea/3-little-known-problems-that-could-affect-your-good-relationship/

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Kehau

My husband and I are very open about commenting on each other’s business ventures and plans, with the understanding that there is no expectation of either one of us having to do as the other suggests. When we give our opinions, we state the reason for our ideas, and the thinking behind it. That way, while we may reject the suggestion, we may learn something from the logic behind it and make adjustments to our plans accordingly. Even if we disagree, it’s never contentious, and we each know that ultimately, we are in charge of our business and make the final decisions. We also try to factor in if any decision will affect our joint plans and home life, and discuss that as well. Once in a while there’s an ‘I told you so’ in there, but very rarely, and never as a put down. Bottom line, we trust each other to have each other’s best interests at heart.

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Nevin

Thank you Marie, Great q and a’s! My wife and I are partners in the same business, so we do not compete. But ocassionally there can be tension when we disagree. Your four questions provide excellent advice for anyone in a relationship. Thanks again. Make it a great day.

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Catherine

Ahh! This causes big problems at my house! These convos always end with “I’m never talking to you about this again!!” In our case, I think abstinence may be the only cure…though I admit I can be a silly billy:)

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Marita

I think this advice was right on! A woman who is in touch with the male nature knows that guys want to naturally fix things and help. It makes them feel good. So if you try to out man him he might feel inferior. But if you act diplomatically it gives him a chance to look at things objectively and not feel unmanly. Besides didn’t anyone watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding? “The man might be se head of se house but se woman is se neck!” Haha!

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Alexis Meads

I can TOTALLY relate to this!

While my fiance isn’t an entrepreneur, he’s had a lot of experience in business and genuinely wants to help by giving me advice. For some reason, whenever he brings up money with my business I get angry and defensive.

I’ve been trying to understand where this comes from, and realize that it’s coming from within me rather than from him. I have to heal my issues with money and have been trying to be more open to his suggestions!

-Alexis

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Michelle R.

I loved this video! It is usually very hard for me to take business advice from my husband but I learned that I hate it so much because he is usually right and telling me what I don´t want to hear or see about my business and all the challenges that come with it. And even though I may not agree sometimes it is always good to hear other people´s opinion and I think my husband´s opinion it is one of the most truthful once I know he wants my success as much as I do. We have a deal though: He only gives me advice when I ask for it!

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Tara

I know I’m lucky, but my other half is my behind-the-scenes source for spot-on ideas and insight. Heather, what about actively going to your husband with questions that you know he’ll love to answer and that will provide value to what you’re doing?

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Ladyane

This video is cool!

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Felicity Fields

I feel so lucky to have a significant other who gives great business advice. Although he’s not an entrepreneur himself, he’s been with me every step of the way. I rely on him for his advice, especially because he’s not in the entrepreneurial world. He asks questions that sometimes challenged “entrepreneur assumptions,” and it’s awesome.

Best of all, if I don’t take his advice, he doesn’t push. We both understand that this is my business, and that ultimately, I have to figure out how to run it. :)

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Aradia

O this is so great! I have to deal with the whole “fix it” mentality a lot and as a independent thinker I can’t stand it. It’s great, it’s nice, but it’s REALLY annoying when it’s unsolicited and makes me feel like I’m being told that I just plain, flat out “suck” and am a numskull. (I derive great pride in figuring things out for myself!) I’m totally digging 1 & 2 too!

I think the hardest part for me is that we work in totally different industries under totally different pretenses. I’m building from nothing and the ground up – whereas he has a lot of experience taking pre-built systems and structures that just aren’t working optimally. For me that means that he is out of the loop a little because I’m trying to “build it right” not be fixed!

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nasra

yes, I do take advice from my Husband as I have no clue in to money managing and all that comes with business, I am more the creative one and he is the suit.

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Simone

Loved this video – thanks MF!

It was relevant to me as my husband and I are both entrepreneurs (of different businesses). When we share our challenges with each other, our different “gender approach” can definitely create some debate. However, his objectivity is really perspective-building and highlights where my emotions might be getting in the way of good common sense.

Although I don’t always appreciate it in the moment, I am repeatedly grateful for the way my husband helps me distill my problems into a simple task list so I can move forward and just take action!

Simone

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Jennifer

I’m not married but this advice is useful also for family members and friends who love to give their “two cents”.

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Sergio

Man, you keep it real Marie. Great job in tackling multi-faceted relationship layers in business and bedroom, while staying on the surface topic-at-hand. Very insightful from all perspectives. Thanks.

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Natalie

I absolutely take business advise from my spouse. He is not a small business owner, but he is extremely intelligent. I run all my ideas past him to see if he has any tune ups or ways to enhance them. Also, I am a one woman show. I am the only one at my business, I take all the calls, I book all the sessions, I do all the marketing, and I give all the massages. I love it! But it is also on me to sink or swim. I like to run my ideas past my husband so we are making choices together about the money that comes in. What I don’t spend in advertising goes directly to my family, so it is important that I have him on board in my advertising ideas so its not just like “Hey where did that money go?” Fortunately my husband is my biggest supporter and gives me encouragement and great advise. I may not have even opened when I did if he hadn’t given me that little extra push I needed and said “go for it baby!”

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Ann

I am thinking that with how busy everyone is these days, it takes time to try to give advice and if a person is giving advice they are taking time out of their day because they genuinely care about you and that’s great. So, if you get advice, it is always important to listen but you don’t have to act on it. You can say thank you and think about it to see if it fits in the business. All because you get advice, you don’t have to right away say “I am definitely doing that” or “no way, that’s a bad idea” . I get unsolicited advice and I know I make people feel really good when I tell them that I understand and say thank you. When I give advice, I expect the same response. People don’t try to annoy anyone when they are giving advice. It’s a nice thing to do.

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Liz

Two heads are better than one. My husband is so practical and he has a real fun way of putting things across.

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Gabe Nies

It may not the business advice that you need from your spouse but the support and belief from them. :)

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Deb

My problem is, my husband is not an entrepreneur. He is in corporate. So when I talk to him about my business, he doesn’t understand and he criticizes my ideas. I’ve spent years studying online marketing. He has a 4-year degree in finance. They are two different worlds. I just choose not to share too much with him. I mostly tell him about major wins and successes so he can celebrate with me.

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Melissa

Great information! My boyfriend and I work well together, we’ve actually worked at two companies together before my little venture for myself right now. He’s awesome at marketing and promotions and I’m great at creating artwork, perfect team!

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Michael Rich

WOW – spot on Marie! I love watching your videos.

Your points are bang on. I continually gain affirmations about human behavior from you, as I find myself pondering very similar thoughts.

Knowing what I know today, I would have setup boundaries earlier as sometimes I felt the advice was great; however, my mindset (frame) wasn’t in the right place. Great thought on men feeling needed, and having the female act in a powerful way, yet continue being feminine.

Blessings. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Judy Epstein

My partner and I are both teachers, him in the past with years of experience and me with many years experience and now running my own teaching business. I welcome his input. We put our heads together and share ideas.

Yes, men like to help and be appreciated for it. Thanks, Marie, great subject. Love Marie TV!

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Dorothy Pang, The Natural Fertility Expert

Thanks for this Marie! Your timing is impeccable. :)

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Steph

I’ve actually had no trouble taking business advice from my boyfriend. He owns his own business, so maybe he knows what he’s talking about. I even helped him pick a name for his maintenance company. It’s taking advice when it’s not related to business that we have a hard time with!

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Robin Oxford-Davis

Hey Marie! thank you for this cathartic opportunity! My husband is a genius, really! My challenge is that I hesitate to share things about my business with him because I fear that he won’t be impressed or somehow it won’t meet his approval in some way. But during those moments that I muster up the courage, he is always supportive and encouraging, so I recognize it’s me, not him. I think it is so important, almost necessary in fact to have someone you love and respect to validate what you’re passionate about. It kinda reassures you that you’re in the right place, not only with your business goals and direction but in your choice of the person you love and trust.
By the way, great job on the Today Show! I loved the way, emphasized your point of view!

Robin
Creator, inspirationenergy

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Sarah

Marie,

I love your videos, and I think you have a lot of valuable, insightful things to say, but this one left me feeling disappointed.

1.) There are some men who, by nature, have Alpha personalities. They’re a little more domineering, a little more control-centered, than others. This doesn’t make them bad people. It doesn’t make them abusive or controll-ing, necessarily — but it does make them more prone to giving advice when it isn’t wanted.

Giving business advice from a place of experience is wonderful, but I was concerned when your reader mentioned that her husband was putting some of her ideas down. That’s not constructive, and honestly, different things work for different businesses. Maybe he’s a little bit of an Alpha and needs to work on channeling that into more effective criticism/support.

2.) I would suggest, very gently, not getting caught up in rigid gender roles. Masculine and feminine are just two points along a continuum, with plenty of room for individual variation. I know plenty of naturally competitive women, including athletes and businesswomen, and personally, I see nothing wrong with that, as long as they’re being true to their nature and emotionally healthy.

That said? Your reader doesn’t sound competitive with her husband to me. If she were, I’d say that when he married her, her husband probably knew this about her already. It’s possible that he could be more accepting of this, just as she could be mindful of any competitiveness if it was there.

3.) Your reader has to take responsibility for her own actions, of course, but so does her husband. Sometimes, even the best people tend to focus too much on other people’s issues when they’re having problems of their own. Again, it’s not because they’re bad people — it’s just a classic avoidance technique that most of us fall into at some point or another.

So those are my thoughts, offered with tender loving care. Marie, you’re awesome — there were just some things that you didn’t touch on that I felt were really important. I wouldn’t bring them up if I didn’t respect you and love you. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve ever openly disagreed with someone online. Thanks for offering a safe place to do this.

Yours truly,

Sarah <3

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Virginia, The Heartographer

My husband is the ONLY person who gives me truly constructive feedback. No one will tell me my flaws so readily, and I love and trust him enough to know that he overall really likes what I throw down and is only nitpicking me to try to help me succeed. I’m the same way with him; we’re both detail-oriented design nerds with very high standards, so we call each other out on every last vocal tic or improperly kerned letter, and it makes us both shine that much more. Of COURSE you have to be careful in how you go about dishing constructive criticism, but just express love with every sentiment and you’ll work it out. <3

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JENNA

I like this

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Dihessa

I was just having a discussion about this with my husband this week. He is a brilliant project manager, but I just can’t seem to really hear him when he gives me a business advice. He even claims that if he wanted me to apply any of his advice, all he had to do is give me the opposite advice lol. This article is quite insightful, Thanks Marie

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Tanya

This was perfectly timed.. I feel like I am overwhelmed with the level of engagement involved in social media. Between twitter/facebook/pinterest/instagram/youtube etc.. its crazy.. I just made the decision this week to focus my efforts on one to two outlets and go from there. Also to ensure its scheduled. I would rather excell in one area than be allover the place and not be good at anything..

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Trish

The issue of unsolicited business advice was actually the first symptom of the problems that eventually led to my divorce.

We are both self-employed; he was very successful in tech and I was fairly successful in the arts. I did value his knowledge and tried to follow the unsolicited advice he gave me, even though sometimes I had a hard time overcoming my fears and insecurities to follow it. The advice I did manage to follow usually ended up being tremendously helpful.

The problem was the way he presented it. He would seldom acknowledge or praise my successes or efforts to follow his advice, but he’d leap on an opportunity to criticize. I would have to fight really hard to listen past his tone and wording to register the useful things he said without taking it personally, and every encounter would leave me exhausted, demoralized, and feeling bad about myself and my efforts.

When I told him that the way he presented his advice did more harm than good, he told me to get over it, which made me feel like his advice was not coming from a place of love and respect, but of disgust and impatience, and this only got worse. I ended up withdrawing, struggling harder and harder to even get myself follow his advice, because I felt like even if I did, I’d never be able to do it to his standards and I’d just be setting myself up for more criticism. It felt like drowning.

Meanwhile, he’d feel that my withdrawal was a sign I didn’t value or respect him, and get defensive even at clarification questions I’d ask him.

Underneath the entire conflict was the problem of our very different values and levels of ambition – to face my uncertain and unstable business full of criticism I needed validation and emotional support, and as a self-made man he wanted me to be as tough with myself as he was with himself.

If I had taken a close look earlier at the subconscious reasons for my resistance to his advice, I might have realized sooner that his advice came from an unsympathetic, judgemental place and that I couldn’t function with that energy in my life. And I would not have put up with years of verbal and emotional abuse because I thought I deserved it for not trying hard enough at my career.

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Natalie

This issue used to be really hard for me. My husband knows way more about business than me, but in the beginning I used to resist his advice. I am not sure why I did this, but I always felt defensive. I think it was more of an issue with my self-esteem, not his advice… Once I got over myself, I really started to embrace his knowledge/advice. Now we work on business stuff together, and it’s so helpful because as a solo-preneur I have someone on my side, helping me make decisions!

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Counseling Center Colorado

That’s a very good point you have chosen for your post. Sometimes ego clashes come in between married couples, who often like to turn each other down. Accepting each others faults gracefully and taking advice from each other is one of the key to build a good and healthy relationship.

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Matthew

Dear Marie,

Maybe I’m just being dense, but I’ve listened to the video twice and can’t tell whether Heather the questioner wants to know whether she should -listen- -to- advice from her husband or whether she should -follow- advice from her husband. I also can’t figure out how you Marie understand the question: Are you addressing whether Heather should even listen to her husband’s advice or whether she should follow her husband’s advice? I can’t tell.

My answer would be that Heather should allow her husband to provide his advice as long as he can provide his advice in a way that respects her goals, values, and perspective and as long as her husband can refrain from any negative response (internal or external) when Heather decides to decline following his advice in her business.

Many business decisions require a weighing of risk and reward and of cost and benefit. One person’s tolerance for risks and willingness to expend definite costs for possible benefits is not necessarily the same as another’s. If Heather’s husband can explain the risks, rewards, costs, and benefits of his advice in a respectful manner, I have difficulty understanding how this couldn’t benefit Heather. Indeed, I wonder what his reaction would be if Heather asked him to identify the possible downsides of his advice, maybe even to give the best case he can -against- his own advice.

I don’t actually have this problem. I do experience something similar quite often, as I’m an attorney and often give advice to my clients. And, yes, my clients don’t always follow my advice. Indeed, under the Rules of Professional Conduct, the client determines the objectives of the representation and decides whether or not to accept an offer from the opposing side.

My short answer to Heather’s question is that she should listen to her husband’s advice if Heather and her husband speak and listen respectfully. Additionally, Heather’s focus should not be on what advice her husband gives, but the reasons he has for his advice. She should ask him interrogative-led questions, such as “what,” “how much,” “where,” “when,” “how,” and “why.” If they cannot speak and listen respectfully, they shouldn’t discuss business in any depth or business advice.

Thank you, Marie, for sharing this video and for giving us your listeners an opportunity to comment.

Regards,
Matthew
Spokane, Washington

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Samantha

Personally I would never take business advice from my bf. He thinks he knows it all but really knows nothing. He went to college for business but doesn’t understand online business. I hate when he puts me down, telling me I won’t ever be successful. But I will remain strong and not worry about anything.

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