Does Your Marriage Make You Money [Successful Frameworks] Ep 162

Summary Notes


In a podcast focused on the intersection of marriage, money, and entrepreneurship, Alex and his co-host discuss the challenges and strategies for aligning personal relationships with business goals. Alex, drawing from his own experience and the patterns observed at his events, emphasizes the importance of shared mission, values, and complementary skill sets in both marriage and business partnerships. He contrasts two successful marital dynamics—the cheerleader, who supports from the sidelines, and the fullback, who actively engages in business with their partner. Alex warns against the pitfalls of mismatched goals and values, advocating for candid communication and clear role definition to ensure both partners contribute to a unified vision of success. He concludes by advising entrepreneurs to thoughtfully assess their relationships, ensuring alignment with their life's mission and business aspirations.

Summary Notes

Introduction to Marriage and Money

  • Alex introduces the topic by highlighting its relevance to personal lives and its frequent discussion at events.
  • The podcast aims to address the common question about the relationship between marriage and money.
  • Alex is in the midst of a nine-day event series and takes the opportunity to discuss marriage and money before the fifth day of events.

"Good morning, everyone. Hope you guys are having a wacky, fantastic Wednesday. I wanted to make this podcast because it's probably related to the, you know, probably the number one question that we get on personal lives when we have our events."

The quote sets the stage for the discussion, indicating the importance of the topic and its connection to the audience's personal lives.

The Perception of Marriage and Money

  • Alex acknowledges that some may find the association of marriage with money to be inappropriate.
  • He points out that money is a common cause of arguments in marriages, especially for entrepreneurs.
  • The podcast is directed at entrepreneurs who are either married or considering marriage.

"And so I title this, does your marriage make you money? And some people might read that and be like, alex, marriage isn't about money, which I find funny because it's the number one thing that people argue about in marriage and maybe the work life balance that the entrepreneur might have."

This quote highlights the controversial nature of the topic and the common misconception about the role of money in marriage.

Marriage, Entrepreneurship, and Personal Experience

  • Alex provides context by sharing his own marital experience, which is unique and not representative of long-term marriages.
  • He and his wife Leila have a distinctive approach to marriage, prompting questions from others.
  • The podcast will offer a framework used by Alex and Leila to evaluate their marriage, which can also be applicable to entrepreneurs.

"Leila and I have a very specific, very unique marriage, and we approached it somewhat differently than a lot of people do, and we get questions about it all the time."

The quote emphasizes the uniqueness of Alex and Leila's marriage, which serves as a basis for the advice and framework being shared.

The Outcomes of Events on Relationships

  • Alex observes that their events often lead to significant changes in attendees' relationships.
  • Some attendees commit to their relationships more deeply, while others may end their relationships after the event.
  • The goal is to provide a framework to assess the return on investment (ROI) of a marriage or partnership.

"But what happens a lot of times after people come to our events is they either go all in on a relationship... And we've also had people who were at our events who, after our events, actually broke up, got divorced, separated, et cetera."

This quote describes the profound impact that the events can have on attendees' personal relationships, illustrating the importance of the framework being discussed.

Shared Mission in Marriage and Business

  • Alex introduces the first of three key elements to a successful marriage or business partnership: shared mission.
  • A shared mission involves aligning life goals and visions between partners.
  • The concept is adopted from the practices of successful billionaires and their advice on partnerships.

"The first one is that there has to be shared mission, which is not just like, within the business context, it's shared mission for what you want to accomplish. But within marriage, it's really just like life mission."

The quote defines the concept of a shared mission and its importance in both business and marriage, setting the foundation for a successful partnership.

The Importance of Shared Values

  • The second key element is having shared values that dictate how partners will achieve their common goals.
  • Alex uses his own marriage as an example, emphasizing the importance of growth orientation.
  • The mismatch in growth and development between spouses can lead to a divergence in the relationship.

"The second piece is shared values. So it's cool to know where you're trying to go, but how you're going to get there is different based on the values that you want to have."

This quote explains the significance of shared values in determining the path to achieving shared goals in a marriage.

Complementary Skill Sets

  • The third element involves having complementary skill sets between partners.
  • Clear divisions and roles within the partnership can prevent conflicts and enhance cooperation.
  • Alex references a study that suggests clearly defined roles in marriage, such as household responsibilities, contribute to its success.

"The final piece of the three kind of piece framework is complementary skill sets... Having clear roles in marriage and house works the same way."

The quote highlights the importance of complementary skill sets and defined roles in maintaining a successful marriage, drawing parallels with business partnerships.

Marital Structures and Roles

  • Alex discusses two distinct structures within marriage: the cheerleader setup and the fullback setup.
  • In the cheerleader setup, one partner is the breadwinner, and the other is the cheerleader, providing unwavering support to allow the breadwinner to focus on their role.
  • The cheerleader's job is to make the breadwinner's life easier and not to distract them from their goals, especially in critical moments.
  • This setup can be fulfilling as both partners share the same end goal and work together to achieve it.
  • The fullback setup involves both partners working together in the trenches, both contributing to moving forward towards their shared goals.
  • Alex personally transitioned from a cheerleader setup to a fullback setup with his partner Layla, finding it more aligned with his life goals.
  • The fullback setup requires shared interests and goals, as well as a mutual understanding of the sacrifices needed for business and personal success.
  • Alex emphasizes the importance of having a candid conversation about life goals to ensure alignment and increase the likelihood of achieving them together.
  • Making the first dollar together in a business can significantly increase the likelihood of a couple staying married, as it represents a new level of commitment.

"So I've only seen two different kind of structures work within marriage combinations, right? And so number one is the cheer back hybrid, right? The cheerleader set up, which is you're the breadwinner, they are the cheerleader."

This quote introduces the concept of the cheerleader setup in a marriage, where one partner is the main provider and the other offers support.

"For the fullback setup, which is the setup that Layla and I have, is that we're both in the game together. We're both in the trenches together."

Alex explains the fullback setup that he and Layla have, emphasizing the partnership and mutual support in their relationship.

"A different entrepreneur told me this, Ken Courtwright, that he had read a research study that when a couple enters a business together and makes their first dollar together, the likelihood that they stay married increases, like, fivefold."

This quote highlights the positive impact of shared business success on marital stability, according to research mentioned by an entrepreneur named Ken Courtwright.

Entrepreneurship and Personal Relationships

  • Opposites may attract in relationships, but they can also create challenges if they don't share similar interests or life goals.
  • It's important for partners to support each other's aspirations, especially when one's success relies on the other's understanding and cooperation.
  • In entrepreneurial relationships, it's crucial to have agreements and understandings about business commitments and their impact on the marriage.
  • Cognitive dissonance and pain can arise when there's a conflict between business decisions and the spouse's agreement or support.
  • Alex advises having a candid conversation with one's partner to align missions and increase the chances of achieving shared goals.
  • Differences in the perception of work can strain relationships, especially when one partner sees work as a passion and the other as merely a means to an end.

"There are times when your marriage may lose you money because your spouse does not agree with the commitment that you're making for your business."

This quote addresses the potential financial impact of a spouse not supporting the other's business commitments, highlighting the importance of mutual understanding in entrepreneurial marriages.

"If that mission is on align, the likelihood that you're going to achieve it is really low, right? Because you're both trying to go towards different things."

Alex stresses the importance of having aligned missions within a relationship to increase the chances of success.

Redefining Freedom and Success

  • Entrepreneurs often seek freedom, which includes temporal, geographic, and financial freedom.
  • Society's portrayal of freedom typically involves not working, but Alex argues that this doesn't align with the entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Most entrepreneurs find fulfillment in their work and would not be content with prolonged idleness.
  • Alex encourages entrepreneurs to redefine freedom as the freedom to choose what they want to do and with whom.
  • Success, according to Alex, is about having the ability to choose, and if one chooses their work, they have already achieved freedom.
  • Breaking away from societal definitions of freedom and success is crucial for entrepreneurs to feel fulfilled and truly free.

"Most of us sign up for this game because we want to be free. We want temporal freedom. We want to do the things we want to do with our time."

Alex explains the motivations behind entrepreneurship, highlighting the desire for various forms of freedom.

"So do what you want to do when you want to do it, where you want to do it, and ideally, with whom you want to do it."

This quote encapsulates the essence of the freedom that entrepreneurs aspire to achieve.

"I implore you to redefine your freedom as the freedom to choose, right? And so if you, as the entrepreneur, like what you do, then you've already achieved freedom because you're choosing actively to do the things that you want to do."

Alex encourages a redefinition of freedom that aligns with the active choice and passion of entrepreneurs, suggesting that freedom is already attained when one loves their work.

Entrepreneurial Relationships and Business Growth

  • Discusses the challenges and decisions faced by entrepreneurs in their personal relationships, particularly regarding spouses and business involvement.
  • Emphasizes the importance of alignment in values, mission, and skill sets between partners.
  • Introduces the concept of the "cheerleader" and "fullback" in relationship dynamics.
  • Stresses the significance of clear communication and defining expectations within a partnership.
  • Shares a personal anecdote about the speaker's spouse demonstrating strength and alignment with his entrepreneurial journey.

If you are a business owner that has a big old business and wants to get to a much bigger business, going to 5100 million dollars plus, we would love to talk to you.

This quote sets the stage for the discussion, targeting business owners looking to scale their businesses significantly.

That's an incredibly personal decision, right? And so I try not to give these huge life decision pieces of advice, like, you should quit and join the business, because that person might resent the entrepreneur for the rest of their lives because they left a career that they actually enjoyed or they didn't want to be in the game.

Alex acknowledges the complexity of advising entrepreneurs on personal decisions, especially regarding their spouses' involvement in the business.

If they're not there to support you, but they're not in the trenches with you, then that's when you're in no man's land.

Alex highlights the importance of support in entrepreneurial relationships, indicating potential issues when a partner is not actively supportive.

Is the way we want to get their values aligned? And do our skill sets and our actions, do they complement one another or do they detract from one another?

Alex discusses the alignment of values and complementary skill sets as crucial for a harmonious entrepreneurial relationship.

You treat your relationship like you treat a partnership, because you are in a business partnership. Just. It's just double as important.

Alex compares a spousal relationship to a business partnership, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing the relationship.

What's your four r's for? Wife. And what's your four r's for husband. I know this sounds insane, but a lot of times, if you don't actually define clearly what you want from the person, what their role, and what the results you're expecting are, then that's when you come into conflict.

Alex suggests using a structured approach, like the "four r's" document, to define roles and expectations within a relationship to avoid conflict.

The moment that I knew that I was going to marry her was when things were crumbling in the business, and I was stressed beyond belief, and I actually asked for a one month break.

This personal anecdote from Alex illustrates a turning point in his relationship, where his partner demonstrated exceptional strength and alignment with his entrepreneurial values.

And the beauty of the fullback setup is you're both sharing the same experiences that are going to shape your viewpoints.

Alex explains that sharing experiences in a "fullback" relationship dynamic can lead to shared viewpoints and stronger alignment.

Where you get in trouble is where you have different values, which means you see the world in different ways, which means you make decisions that are different based on the same information.

Alex warns of the potential conflicts that arise when partners have different values, leading to differing decisions and dissatisfaction.

If you're appraising your relationship, if you're looking about whether a, you want to bring someone into your business, do they fit, clearly, a cheerleader or fullback framework?

Alex concludes by advising entrepreneurs to assess their relationships and consider whether their partner fits into the "cheerleader" or "fullback" framework when considering involving them in the business.

Definition and Importance of Help

  • Help should make someone's life easier and reduce their "noise."
  • Effective help allows individuals to focus on mutually beneficial tasks.

The definition of help is that you are making someone else's life easier, the noise in their life goes down so that they can take more attention and apply it to the thing that helps both of you in the long run.

This quote emphasizes that true help should alleviate burdens and distractions, enabling individuals to concentrate on important, shared goals.

Significance of Agreements in Relationships

  • Agreements are like contracts and should be clearly understood before committing.
  • It's crucial to discuss and define the terms of a relationship honestly and directly.

It is a contract, right? Like, you literally sign a contract when you get married. And so you should look at the terms of that agreement before you sign.

Alex compares marriage to a contractual agreement, underlining the importance of understanding and agreeing to its terms beforehand.

Communication in Relationships

  • Open and honest communication is key to a successful relationship.
  • Partners should express their needs clearly and without sugarcoating.

And one of the easiest hacks to figuring out how to have that conversation is everything that you tell your friends about what you wish your wife did or what she is not doing... Say those words to your spouse, us.

Alex advises partners to communicate their desires and grievances to each other as candidly as they would in conversations with friends, for better understanding and outcomes.

Business and Relationship Dynamics

  • Clearly defined roles are necessary for both business and personal relationships.
  • Partners should understand their individual contributions and avoid conflicts by staying in their lanes.

You have to have clear lanes, just like you do at home, right? You have to have clear lanes of operation.

Alex stresses the need for clear role definitions to prevent conflicts and ensure a smooth partnership in both business and domestic settings.

Cheerleader and Fullback Dynamics

  • In a cheerleader dynamic, one partner fully supports the other's business endeavors.
  • The fullback dynamic involves both partners sharing the business, with clearly defined roles and joint commitment.

Now, if you have the cheerleader set up, again, clear definition, clear roles, clear communication. But here the definition of our roles is, I'm 100% of the business, you're 100% out of the business, but your role is to support me so that I can support our family.

Alex describes the cheerleader dynamic where one partner is entirely dedicated to supporting the other's business efforts for the benefit of the family.

All-in Commitment

  • Going "all in" on a business and relationship can bring clarity and strengthen the partnership.
  • Shared financial stakes and a unified vision can eliminate doubts and enhance focus.

As soon as you can actually make it clear that we now have one bank account, this is our business together. This is our child, then I'll tell you that we got so much more attention back, especially from Layla, not worrying of, like, what am I going to have to do if Alex breaks up with me, right?

Alex discusses the positive impact of merging finances and business ownership, which solidifies commitment and alleviates concerns about the future.

Evaluating Relationship Goals

  • It's essential to ensure both partners want the same outcomes from their relationship.
  • If differing goals are discovered, it may be necessary to end the partnership.

And if you get to the end of that conversation, you find out that given the same information, you want different outcomes, then it's something that you need to be able to have a very, like, you need to be okay with breaking up a partnership that is not helping you towards your goal, because you're not helping them towards theirs, for real.

Alex highlights the importance of aligning relationship goals and the potential need to end a partnership if goals are incompatible.

Relationship Dynamics and Business Success

  • Romantic relationships can impact business success, depending on the dynamic.
  • Supportive relationships with clearly defined roles and shared values can lead to successful business partnerships.

If someone starts working for you, and you are the entrepreneur, and they become the operator, and they start just running things and just making your life easier, you're like, oh, my God. And then all of a sudden, you start having feelings for that person.

Alex reflects on how business relationships that evolve into personal ones can be successful when roles are clear and values align.

Personal Decisions in Relationships

  • Relationship dynamics are personal and can't be universally prescribed.
  • It's important not to impose one's will on a partner, as it can lead to resentment.

It's incredibly personal decision. I could never say what to do, what not to do, because only you guys know your relationship dynamic. Only you know what you really want. Only they know what they really want.

Alex acknowledges the deeply personal nature of relationship dynamics and the importance of mutual understanding and respect for each partner's desires.

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