“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” --Henry Ford
In my last blog post I gave you some more background on me, our business, and our relationship, so this week I thought I would fill you into why I choose the name Joint Venture Marriage for this blog and platform. So, what’s in the name?
Many businesses choose to establish a joint venture (JV), which is defined by the Corporate Finance Institute as “when two or more organizations combine their resources to gain a tactical and strategic edge in the market.” There can be many benefits to forming a joint venture including not having to go at the enormous task of running the company alone, insight into new viewpoints and ideas, the sharing of risks and cost and gaining expertise and knowledge to increase your position in the market just to name a few. In the majority of situations when joint ventures are formed, they do so because both entities would fail or at the very least be much less profitable and less successful without one another. Although a joint venture can be extremely beneficial to the company, it is imperative that both partners are equally committed to the success of the relationship and common goals to make it work. There are many factors such as trust, alignment, strong written agreements, careful planning, effective communication, equal contributions from both parties, flexibility, and goodwill that are required to make the partnership work.
Being in a joint venture is often compared to being in a marriage because of all the similarities. Just like a joint venture in business, a strong marriage also takes extraordinary trust, careful planning, common goals, effective communication, flexibility, goodwill, and equal contributions. It takes constant nurturing and deliberate attention to keep it strong and ensure it is lasting. And, just like there are many benefits to forming a joint venture in business, there are also many benefits that come with bringing the strengths, viewpoints, and unique contributions of two individuals together to form a strong committed marriage. In addition to, and probably to some degree because of, the deep companionship and security of having someone to share your life with, married individuals on average are significantly more financially well-off, are less likely to be depressed, report lower stress levels, recover faster after surgery, are more likely to survive cancer and actually live longer than their single or divorced counterparts. And having a supportive partner and happy marriage has been linked to higher motivation, a greater ability to take on challenges, and more success in business (see this blog post for more information about that). Therefore, in business and marriage, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. If we look at our marriage through a business lens, it can be thought of as the most important and valuable joint venture out there! The caveat here is that all of these benefits only ring true for healthy partnerships who are equally committed to their common goal. Just like you must be committed 100% to make your business work, you must also be 100% all-in for your marriage as well.
Marriage is already a tricky partnership that doesn’t have a great longevity rate. According to the Gottman Institute, which is the number one research authority for marriage and family studies, “The chance of a first marriage ending in divorce over a 40 year period is 67%.” Although there are no credible statistics on the divorce rate of entrepreneurial couples, we can only assume that the rate would be even higher based on the added dynamic the business brings to the relationship and toll the additional stress can take on a marriage. Anecdotal evidence from divorce lawyers and self-reports supports this notion as well. There are plenty of articles, guides, and advice out there for how to make a joint venture in business successful, but there is very little out there for how to make a joint venture (entrepreneurial) marriage work. The goal of this platform is to be that survival guide for all of us who are committed to building a healthy, happy, and successful joint venture marriage!
As always, thanks for reading! I’d love to hear what qualities make your joint venture marriage strong and lasting in the comments below.
Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1999). The seven principles for making marriage work. New York: Three Rivers Press.