How to Build a Successful Business With a Romantic Partner.

Written by Dominique Bancey

Building a business is extremely difficult, but building one with someone you are romantically involved with, can be even more challenging. If you wish to build a business with a partner, or if you are wondering how they do it, read on.

Celebration. Being business and romantic partners is indeed a challenge, however, neither one of you should forget that if something good happens, there is no harm in celebrating. With each goal that is reached, and each success that is attained, allow yourselves to take a break and celebrate each of these. This will allow the both of you to realize that you are doing a great job at being business partners.

Observation. Though the both of you are focusing on your tasks, take some time out to observe what the other is doing. After observing, compliment them. This will let them know that you realize the hard work they are doing to allow the both of you to succeed as business partners.

Accuracy. Before starting the business, sit down and have a talk. Ensure that the both of you have clear and accurate thoughts as to your strengths and weaknesses, what each of you could contribute to the business as separate individuals.

Agreement. Another thing you have to pay attention, make sure that you both agree as to what exactly you are working towards. Ensure that each of you share the same vision for the company. If one person starts to steer away from that vision, the other can talk to them about it to get them back on track.

Balance. This is one of the most important factors. Create a balance with work and life. Form a middle ground. Discuss what should be talked about at work, separate from at home. This will also inspire your team as they will take note that the both of you are goal-oriented and do not allow your personal lives to get in the way of business.

Many individuals tend to steer far away from building a business with a partner, however, it may not be as difficult as it seems, if you follow these simple tips.

Until next time.

Marriage Tips With Dave and Kimmie : Spending Quality Time

Sometimes marriage can feel like an amusement park. There are lots of attractions, sweet treats, and plenty of people looking to enjoy a great “ride” with you. The roller coasters have a way of keeping you at the edge of your seat and gasping for air. And when the big drop comes, it may cause you to shout with excitement because of the adrenaline and g-forces that you feel down in your belly. Just make sure you didn’t have a meal before the ride, unless you want everyone else to know exactly what it was (lol). But doesn’t everybody love theme parks (smirk) or nah? One things for sure, being married for 14+ years has taught us that sometimes you have to pull away from the thrill and spend direct, consensual, intentional time with your mate.

The truth is that we all love the thrill, but not all of us love the “real.” Dealing with the real is when we accept each other with our strengths and flaws and still choose to love. Yes, the real you without the dressings, the custom outfits, or high heels. And believe us, this is something that takes a great amount of sacrifice, intentionality, maturity, & patience to filter out the many distractions that keep us from putting our mate first. Don’t believe us? Try having a conversation with your spouse and not looking down at your phone when that text, or that email notification goes off. Or try leaving the phone in the bedroom when you get to the dinner table. It’s not that easy is it? Oh, did we say dinner table? Do people even use those anymore?

The reality is that our world has changed and sometimes the only way that we can foster a traditional marriage relationship that strives to survive in a self-driven, narcissistic culture is to adopt some good old-fashioned people skills.

The bottom line is this. Your spouse is your “Lifelong Case Study.” If you haven’t taken on the initiative to have the marriage of your dreams, the time is now. Invest in some “His & Her-ology” because the more you learn about your mate, the more it will reward you in the long run. After all, who else did you join hands in marriage to please for a lifetime? Fight to Make it Work!

“You Create the Marriage of Your Dreams”

Dave & Kimmie
www.daveandkimmie.com

Marriage Tips with Dave & Kimmie Entry #1

Marriage is a word that is often viewed and seen as something to celebrate, or a type of goal or aspiration to reach at the “perfect time” in one’s life. It is something that many people consider to be a personal goal in terms of bringing completion or finding stability. It’s seen as a way to settle down and end the sowing of “royal oats” as mentioned by King Jaffe Joffer in the cult classic movie “Coming to America.” But often, the reality and perception of many, about what marriage appears to be, versus what it really is, is a large contrast. We want to offer some practical ways to combat marital challenges with our marriage tips.

After 14 years of marriage we’ve adopted a slogan “Fight To Make It Work.” This slogan reminds us to stay on the same team when we have differing views and opinions. A big rule of thumb is to remember that positive re-enforcement always adds to the building blocks of marital success. In our daily routines, it becomes very easy to get distracted by stumbling blocks, whether by a rouge driver who cuts us off at an intersection, to overwhelming tasks at work, or even the constant demand and responsibility that children bring into our unions.

To add to these various things that place stress on a marriage, we have to always be concerned with pleasing our spouse and making them happy. In order to do this, it has to be our aim to bring out the positives about your spouse. In doing this, it will become much easier to give criticism if there are areas you would like to see your spouse improve in. Remember, life isn’t just what happens to us, it’s how we respond to what happens. If you don’t like the way your spouse is behaving in a certain area, search within yourself to tell them what it is they do well first. Build them up with positive feedback, and then introduce the area where you see their opportunity to improve. Because it ALWAYS feels better to a person when they are told what they are doing well, before they are reminded of where there is needed improvement. This is how we “Fight to Make it Work.”

“You Create the Marriage of Your Dreams”

Dave & Kimmie
www.daveandkimmie.com

Why Do We Fall in Love, but Can’t Stay There?

Written by Valerie Holland

In the spirit of celebrating the 25th anniversary of, arguably, the most admired couple to grace a U.S. television screen, lets seriously discuss the long-lasting, put you in my Will, rub your feet every night, kind of love that we all seek. Michelle and Barack Obama celebrated 25 years of marriage on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. We all (well most of us) love the Obamas. From their beautiful daughters Sasha and Mila to their adorable dog Bo, we could not – and still cannot – get enough of their beautiful relationship.

Many of us search for that kind of love for a lifetime while others of us find it in high school with our Sweethearts. But for those of us stuck in the middle, why is it so hard to have this kind of relationship? As much as “#Baegoals” trends on social media, you would think it wouldn’t be that hard to find. We all have that one friend (or maybe that friend is you) who jumps from relationship to relationship trying to find “true love”. But for many of us it remains elusive. One author; however, claims to have the recipe.

Gary Chapman, speaker, marriage counselor and author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, discusses at length in this Bestseller how to mend, repair or start off a relationship on the right foot. The concept is somewhat ingenious. Just as we all speak different languages across the globe and even different dialects within the same regions, Mr. Chapman believes that there are 5 major Love Languages. The theory is that if you learn your own, as well as your partner’s, (and vice versa) you can have a successful relationship. Simple!

To elaborate, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch are the major languages that many of us speak in a relationship. Some are stronger than others but one is typically your dominant language. If you light up like Christmas from hearing encouraging words and affirmations from your spouse, this is likely your language. If you can’t stand for your partner to watch television or text on their phone when spending time together, Quality Time might be yours. Would having your car washed by your partner and laundry done on a Saturday morning without you having to ask give you butterflies? Then Acts of Service may be your native love tongue. Thus, the goal is to regularly speak your partner’s language (even if you have to learn it), to keep the relationship healthy.

The book even breaks down the falling-in-love infatuation period we all chase and explains why, in any long-term relationship, it eventually fades (usually after 2-3 years). This may also explain why some of us jump from relationship to relationship in search of those “butterflies” but we fly the coup once they have disappeared. According to the book, we have been swindled into believing this obsession period is the baseline for a relationship rather than just the beginning.

All couples go through ups and downs, and even the Obamas must have their disagreements. We have all likely heard the age-old adage that relationships are “hard work” but we don’t seem to take this literally. I know at least, I was of this school of thought until recently. I thought love was supposed to flourish “naturally” too.

So if you also think relationships are supposed to be sparkles and sunshine and you consider the Curry’s, Ciara and Russell Wilson or Will Smith and Jada Pinkett as #BaeGoals, but find yourself single every 6 months, this book is a great start. It retails for $9.59 on Amazon and comes even cheaper in the Kindle format. If you have found yourself in a dead or dying relationship and want to try one more time, this 10 bucks couldn’t hurt a thing. Let us know what you think or if you’ve already read the book, how is it working for you? It has a strong 5-stars on Amazon, has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for 8 years running and oh yeah, it’s celebrating its 25th Anniversary as well. So if you want to find love and keep it, what have you got to lose?

Why You’re Really Upset With the Love of Your Life

Written by Salina Jivani

You’re in a fight with your partner, but even after they’ve apologized, you can’t seem to forgive them, get close to them…or let go of what happened. You want to make them work to earn back your attention or love. If any of this sounds familiar, you might be strangling your relationship by projecting.

What is projecting?

Projecting is an instinctive defense mechanism where you blame others for positive or negative things that happen in your life without realizing that you yourself are actually the cause of them. Projecting can be the result of a previous traumatic or terrible event in your life,  and it can destroy your ability to keep healthy relationships and leave you feeling lonely, hurt, and depressed.

How do you know you’re projecting?

People who project share a few common traits.

  • They feel they’re 100% right in every situation
  • Even the slightest disagreements leave them feeling hurt and sad
  • They feel extremely panicked and overwhelmed during an argument.

How can you stop projecting?

To stop projecting, you’ll need to take a step back and focus on you. Spend time alone journaling or listening to your thoughts. Remind yourself that they can’t always be right—there are such things assumptions and doubts that play a role in what we think. Always be honest about how you feel instead brushing off questions like “What’s wrong?” Lastly, consider investing in yourself by reading self-help books. The more aware you are about your tendency to project, the better you’ll be able to help yourself—and your relationships—stay healthy.

3 Things You Shouldn’t Do Right After a Fight

Written by Salina Jivani

They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus. And maybe they, whoever “they” are, are right, because it certainly can be difficult to understand the opposite sex, leading to frustration, arguments, and, yes, even fights. Whether bickering is a pretty regular occurrence in your day-to-day life with your partner or not, fights are inevitable, here are three big-time no-nos to avoid once the fireworks have died down.

Reject their apology

If your partner is gathering the guts and courage to dish out an apology—no matter how wrong they are—take it. You don’t have to apologize in return, and, yes, maybe you’re still a wee bit mad, but do not throw their apology back in their face…unless you’re hoping for WWII.

 

Act like it never happened

The worst thing you can do is nearly rip each other’s heads off to only moments later act like nothing ever even happened. Shoving your fight under the proverbial rug will only create for more tension and unresolved disputes—both of which are never healthy in a relationship and will either resurface later on or create an unsurmountable wedge between the two of you. Learn to talk things out so that you know better for next time. After all, relationships are about growing, not repeating past mistakes.

Stay angry

Giving your partner the cold shoulder or throwing sarcastic jabs his or her way after the fight is over is not the way to go. Instead, if you feel that strongly about what’s happened, talk it out in a healthy, adult-like way, and let the anger out.

 

Fights are tough, and forgiving can be even tougher. But in the end, forgiveness is the only way you’ll be able to move forward in any relationship and build a stronger, better you.

3 Strange Things You Don’t Know About Men Who Cheat

Written by Salina Jivani

Every woman has her insecurities when it comes to the possibility of her man being wooed by someone better, younger, and sexier. And with the advent of the internet, the threats are no longer limited to just his office or the local bar. Facebook, Instagram, and many other social media platforms are notorious for being “hookup” hubs because they’re often where many people end up connecting nowadays…even when they’re off the market. So if you’ve got a man you’re in love with and you want to make sure women are keeping their claws off him, don’t look for the obvious signs—lookout for these three lesser known ones you probably had no idea about.

 

They’re still in love

If he’s still obviously in love with you, that doesn’t mean you’re safe. Many men who are married or engaged in a serious commitment are still in love with their partners when they cheat. So why do they do it? Because they’re just looking for some excitement and someone different to test the waters with.

 

They want you more

Contrary to belief, when men are having an affair, they’re more likely to become more frisky with you…not less. So if your man suddenly is seeking some extra action between the sheets, don’t fool yourself into thinking that means you’ve got him cemented within your clutches. It just as likely could be that he’s using you to fulfill his raging desires…

 

You’ll never work it out if he’s still at it

If it turns out he really is having an affair, no matter how much he promises he wants to make it work with you, don’t fool yourself into thinking that will be possible while he’s still seeing the other woman. If you truly want a good shot at repairing your relationship, you’ll have to make sure she’s completely and truly booted out of his life before you can restart yours.

 

5 Toxic Personalities to Avoid Like the Flu

Written by Salina Jivani

You’re walking down the street, trying to find that restaurant you’re supposed to meet your friend at, and you see several people around you. Ever notice how you have a tendency to feel more inclined to approach one person versus another? No, it’s not in your head—people give out different vibes. And some people don’t emit such great ones.

You may notice that your best friend just gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling while your evil aunt from Tennessee really is just plain evil. Here are five personality types you should definitely keep away from to avoid the negativity and feeling of ill will from permeating your life.

The green giant of envy

Jealousy is an intrinsic human trait we all experience every now and again, but overly envious people just don’t seem to catch a break from it. You know this person because they’re constantly eyeing what others have, upset that they can’t flaunt something equivalent or better. And they’re never content with anything they get—no matter how great it may be, because they always spot greener pastures elsewhere in someone else’s backyard. Keeping company with envious people may rub off on you and, eventually, you might find yourself exhibiting some of the same traits as them. So steer clear of such individuals and don’t look back.

The manipulator

We’ve all known someone who’s super nice to us…with the caveat that they need some favor or another in return…just innocently or out of thin air. But you know better than that. Manipulators are very calculated—they know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. And their list of favors is never ending. The moment you stop acquiescing to their requests, they’ll drop you faster than a dead bug on a fly swatter.

The damsel in distress

A great and true friend is someone who’s there during times of difficulty, but if you find yourself being a great friend a little too often, it might be because your pal is a self-perpetrated victim. These people always want to whine and complain about life’s curveballs, but they never want to do anything to help themselves past them, instead opting to make other people feel sorry at their completely “helpless” situation. Instead of trying to prod them to take action, it’s probably just easier to walk away because once a person is set in his ways…well, you know how that story goes.

The egotist

You’ve probably come across someone who constantly sees everything you do as an opportunity to one up you. Being in company of someone like that is like tiptoeing on eggshells, always having to weigh your thoughts and what you say aloud, wondering how it will be received and possibly rebutted or outdone. People who constantly need to feel superior to others usually have many deep-rooted confidence problems. You don’t want to be the butt of their frustrations or unresolved issues, so it’s better just to avoid their kind of personality altogether.

The moody

Everyone has ups and downs, so we understand that life is more like a roller coaster than a skating rink. However, moody people have no true reason for their sudden shift in temperament other than they simply feel like going from one extreme to the other. In other words, there’s often no rhyme, reason or logic behind their temperament. And people with this kind of personality are dangerous and extremely draining because you don’t know what can set them off and you don’t know how to stop a happy moment from becoming a terrible one. To prevent yourself from feeling exhausted and using too much mental energy on these people, it’s better to just dump them.

Remember that while toxic people do exist, not everyone is toxic. There are plenty of beautiful people out there who have minor flaws (but don’t we all?!) so when possible, try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt instead of automatically trying to shove them into one of the above categories. Otherwise, the world can fast become a boring place.

5 Reasons Women Gravitate Toward Older Men

Written by Salina Jivani

When I was younger, around 13, I crushed on guys three or four years older than me. At that time, the age gap seemed extensive—particularly to the guys. They didn’t want to be caught dead dating someone their sister’s age. No way, no how.

Fast forward a few decades and those very men are now getting married to women who are five, ten years their junior.

What happened to the ick factor, now? In truth, a lot.

First, those girls are no longer “babies.” They’ve developed into attractive, young women who have lithe bodies and respectable professions.

But really, what is it that these young women see in older men? Think George and Amal Clooney, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. Why do women date and marry older men when they have a sea of hotter, younger hunks vying for their attention?

Seems the older male population, think 40s and older, are perceived as being able to offer a higher quality relationship than many of their younger counterparts.

Here are just a few of the reasons younger women are so easily swept off their feet by older men.

They’re more confident

When we’re young, we have our share of insecurities. But as we age, we learn to deal with or overcome those insecurities. Men who are older have experienced relationships and blunders, have often learned from their mistakes and have come to terms with their shortcomings and weaknesses. In other words, they’re much more comfortable and confident in themselves. And for a woman, being around someone who is confident and sure of themselves is both alluring and intoxicating. Plus, men who are self-assured are more fun to be around because they’re not busy being on the defense or trying too hard to prove their worth to you—instead, they know how to relax and enjoy themselves around you, meaning they’re much better company.

 They Have Money

Because men who are older have had time to gain a firm footing in their careers and business ventures, they’re typically at a much more financially stable point in their lives than men who are in their mid-twenties and thirties. This means older men can spend their money freely—without having to count pennies when they take you out to dinner or on a spontaneous getaway. Plus, by this point, they’re better at managing their funds, meaning they don’t have to worry about returning home to a depleted bank account.

They have time

Older men have already gone through the hassle of trying to prove themselves to their superiors, which means they don’t have to spend weekends or late nights whiling away at the office in an attempt to please their managers or prove their commitment to their jobs. Also, because they’re more senior in their professions, they usually have a good amount of paid time off, or if they’re a business owner, they have someone who can cover for them while they’re out, so they can jet off with you to an exotic getaway—worry free.

They’re more sophisticated

While younger men are busy still gaining their bearing in the world, older men have already done so, meaning they’re more seasoned when it comes to being suave, having sophisticated tastes (in food, wine and dine) and knowing how to handle situations in a mature, cool and refined manner.

Women love keeping company with sophistication, and that’s exactly what they get when they’re with a man who carries himself well and demonstrates a firm command of life in general, whether that means knowing which wine best complements your favorite steak or knowing how to handle an inattentive waiter. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he can afford to go all out and splurge on an extravagant dinner without wincing when the check arrives.

They’re better communicators

Because older men have had more time to experience and get things right, whether that be understanding the dos and don’ts of a relationship, knowing how to talk to people in different situations or learning how to cool an irate woman, they’re better at communicating. In short, over the years, they’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. Plus, they’ve also had more time to develop and hone their listening skills, which makes them a dream come true for women.

In the end, everyone wants a partner who loves, respects and cares for them. Age, as they say, is just a number…and one, as we’ve seen, that can work in your favor sometimes.

3 Ways to Make Your Sure Your Relationship Stays Rock Solid

Written By: Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd Blog”

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Relationships are like caring for a baby. They take time to nurture and grow and require a ton of effort to maintain. We live in times when people are intolerant of imperfections, have limited patience, and are quick to walk away without a backward glance. Realistically speaking, every person is flawed, so expecting perfection from a union of two flawed creatures is not only foolish but can also set a relationship up for failure from the onset. 

 

If you’re willing to accept your partner’s shortcomings and want to work toward deepening your connection with each other as a couple, then you’re already one giant step ahead of many others. And because it’s important you succeed, here are three (yes, only three!) basic fundamentals that must be maintained to create that rock-solid love you’re looking for.

 

Communicate

This is by far the most obvious and one of the greatest factors in establishing the framework for a successful relationship. I grew up with parents who would completely shut each other out when they got angry. Days, weeks and even months would pass without a single exchange, as they sought opportunities to demonstrate just how upset they were through cold shoulders, altered sleeping arrangements, and messages conveyed vengefully through me and my brother, which would serve their purpose by further infuriating the offended party and leading to another more vicious round of revenge.

 

When I got married at the age of 22, I practiced the same behavior with my husband. There were times he would do something that bothered me and instead of trying to talk to him, I’d give him the silent treatment, expecting him to read my mind. The first time, he didn’t understand my silent treatment and refusal to speak with him. The second time, he finally caught on and sat me down. What he said to me totally changed my outlook on what a solid relationship really means. “If you stop talking to me every time you’re upset, how will I ever know what I did wrong or understand how to correct it?” And, I realized begrudgingly, he was right. The next time I felt upset, I took heed to his advice and forced myself to swallow my pride and actually communicate (but only after he picked up on my anger signals and asked me what was wrong. I’ve got a little bit of pride to maintain, after all!). And the difference was pleasing. We actually carried on a level-headed conversation that lasted hours. And I found that I’d bottled up so much over time that a lot of my frustration had been stuck inside me, just waiting to be released. Which of course is completely unhealthy and not at all fun. 

 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s natural that right after a blow up, the last thing you want to do sometimes is redirect your frustration into calm collected communication, so it’s not a bad idea to walk away and give yourself a moment to clear your head. But once the fog has lifted, you most definitely should approach your significant other and have some calm, composed dialogue.

 

Think about what it is that angered you, how the situation could have been handled differently and what changes could be made for the future. Be sure that you give your significant other the same courtesy you respect as they share their feelings and thoughts. Lift all barriers, judgements and prejudices from your mind to make sure you’re practicing effective communication and really trying to comprehend and empathize with the feelings of your significant other.

If you’re used to giving the silent treatment, just remember that the first time will be difficult in putting your precious ego aside and actually taking that first step toward opening the lines of communication, but as is with most things, practice will make perfect and you’ll find it easier to make candid communication a natural part of your relationship.

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Go to bed mad

No, that’s not a typo—you read it right. I’ve heard it a million times—I’m sure you have too. But the phrase “Never go to bed angry” makes me want to tear my hair out one by one every single time I hear it at wedding toasts, bridal showers and even in casual conversation. In my personal relationship, I’ve always found that the later my husband and I are up trying to sort out our disagreements, the more challenging it is to understand each another and the more exhausting it is to keep trying. Why? Because after a certain point, you burn out and just need to cool down your mind.

 

And I promise once you wake up in the morning, it’s a whole other ballgame, rendering the argument from the night before insignificant, even silly (on the occasions you even remember what it is you were fighting about!).

So take that pesky saying and dare those who preach it to try this new alternative and I promise you’ll be deemed a relationship guru. Getting a good night’s sleep and giving your mind a reprieve from the tiff will buy you time to cool off, and (I bet you my entire tub of Double Chocolate Chunk) that once you wake up, you’ll be more willing, and even eager, to move past the temporary road bump in your bliss, come to an understanding, and put it all behind you like the mature adults you are.

 

Be honest

A home’s foundation is its most integral component. In the same way, the most important part of a relationship is trust. Without trust and truth your relationship’s foundation is as reliable as quicksand. It doesn’t matter if you’re the envy of every man or woman because your sig-fig always remembers your anniversary, showers you with praise, hangs on your every word and treasures you in front of the world.  Without trust, all of those attributes mean nothing. Think of it as similar to garnishing a pile of rubble with beautiful shutters, paint and stone—what’s the point of the lovely add-ons if the slab of concrete that’s to hold up the house itself is diminished? 

 

And let’s just quickly clarify that when we’re talking about being honest, we’re not talking about that occasional white lie that sneaks past everyone’s lips—because let’s face it, we all lie sometimes. However, excessive lying is a concern and certainly not okay.    

 

The truth can sometimes be difficult to tell, but it’s more than likely that admitting the truth will result in a temporary fight whereas a lie, if later detected, will create a permanent fissure in your relationship. So be wise and be true.

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In the end, nearly every defect in a relationship (aside from abuse and dishonesty) is mendable—and no matter which couple you admire, don’t fool yourself into thinking that their relationship is any less imperfect than anyone else’s. Instead of focusing on which couple you wish you could be most like, focus on practicing positive habits and cultivating your relationship to be the very best it can be. Trust me when I say: the grass really isn’t greener on the other side (it’s just that your kitchen window needs cleaning!).