Building Together: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Choosing the Right Spouse

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Building Together: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Choosing the Right Spouse

Building Together: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Choosing the Right Spouse

It’s said that selecting your spouse is one of the most important relationships or decisions you will ever make. I have discovered that this is one of life’s “Major Truths.”

Nothing is more complex than trying to build a business with an unsupportive spouse. Before you jump in here, also know that the entrepreneur has an important role and responsibility as a fellow partner and spouse. One is not at a higher or more important place than the other. As someone who has had two marriages end in divorce, I am more accurately aware of this decision now than ever. As a man who centers himself around being highly intentional and communicative, I still struggle to find the right words or approach when considering what this looks like or means for me in the subject matter.

I would be lying if I said that my greatest struggle with the potential of ever entering into a marriage is simply making sure history can’t repeating itself. I don’t want to see the end of a relationship with someone I actually want to build with. Build a life, build a family, and even build a business. As an entrepreneur, I know the difficulties that come with building a business all too well and the strain it can have without the support system of a spouse and the immediate family. Everyone often pays sacrifices, especially on the front end of getting a business off the ground: long hours, mental strain, disconnected emotional moments from the family, and a lot more. This brings the next question, is it worth it?

I have worked hard but have been blessed to build, scale, and even sell an organization. It’s allowed a healthy financial position as well as access to some of the world’s top minds and mentors. I guess that means there are two really important questions:

  1. Do I want to build another 8, 9, or even 10-figure business?
  2. Who can I trust as a spouse to help me build it?

Should we achieve the goal of building a scalable enterprise in unity and impact, there are amazing possibilities for myself and my spouse. As a result, I have determined that I need to prioritize “Alignment.”

Core Value Alignment

In short, do I and this person “align” in multiple highly important areas and with the same or similar views and expectations?

  • Truth
  • Loyalty
  • Heart of Service
  • Honesty is a cornerstone of any relationship, especially in marriage and business. Both partners must value truth and practice it daily. It’s not just about avoiding lies but about being transparent in your thoughts, feelings, and intentions. When truth is at the heart of your relationship, trust flourishes.
  • Intention: Intentions should be clear and shared. What are you both aiming for in life and in business? Having aligned intentions means you both see the same destination and are committed to the journey together.
  • Communication: Effective communication is vital. It’s not just about talking but about listening and understanding. Each partner should feel heard and respected. This creates a strong foundation for resolving conflicts and making decisions together.
  • Expectations & Beliefs: Shared expectations and beliefs help navigate life’s challenges. Whether it’s about raising children, handling finances, or supporting each other’s careers, having aligned expectations can prevent misunderstandings and disappointments.
  • Politics: While it might seem trivial, political beliefs can deeply influence your shared life values. Understanding and respecting each other’s political stances can be crucial, especially in today’s polarized world.
  • Conflict Resolution: How you resolve conflicts says a lot about the health of your relationship. Do you approach disagreements with a mindset of finding solutions together, or do you let conflicts fester and cause resentment?

Vision Alignment

What does success in marriage look like?

  • Where Are We Headed?
  • Both partners should have a clear, shared vision of their future. This includes personal goals, family aspirations, and professional ambitions. Aligning on these visions ensures you’re both working towards the same future.
  • Why Are We Headed There?
  • Understanding the ‘why’ behind your goals is crucial. It’s the driving force that keeps you motivated and aligned. Discussing and sharing your reasons helps deepen your connection and commitment.
  • What Sacrifices Are We Willing to Make?
  • Building a business or a family requires sacrifices. Knowing what you’re both willing to give up for the greater good helps set realistic expectations and prevents future conflicts.
  • What Do We Stand For?
  • Your core values define who you are as a couple. Discussing and aligning these values helps build a strong, united front.
  • What Do We Stand Against?
  • Just as important as what you stand for is what you stand against. Identifying and agreeing on these boundaries helps protect your relationship from external threats and internal conflicts.

Roles & Responsibilities Alignment

  • Who Is Responsible for What?
  • Clearly defining roles and responsibilities helps avoid confusion and conflict. Each partner should know what’s expected of them and how they contribute to the relationship and family.
  • Traditional Roles or Modern Approaches?
  • Whether you prefer traditional roles or a more modern approach, the key is to agree and respect each other’s strengths and preferences. This includes household duties, parenting roles, and business responsibilities.
  • Leadership and Accountability
  • Leadership in a marriage isn’t about dominance; it’s about guiding and supporting each other. Establishing how leadership is handled and held accountable ensures both partners feel valued and respected.

Faith & Spirituality Alignment

  • Divine Inspiration and Direction
  • Do you lean towards and pursue the same divine source for inspiration, direction, and resilience? Shared spiritual beliefs can strengthen your bond and provide a common foundation during challenging times.
  • Prayer and Meditation
  • Discussing your practices around prayer and meditation helps ensure you support each other’s spiritual journeys.
  • Belief in Jesus and Church Attendance
  • For many, belief in Jesus and church attendance are critical aspects of their faith. Aligning on these beliefs helps prevent conflicts and supports a unified spiritual life.

Financial Fitness Alignment

  • Handling Income and Expenses
  • How do you handle income and expenses? Agreeing on financial management strategies helps prevent conflicts and ensures you’re both on the same page about money.
  • Wants Over Needs or Needs Before Wants?
  • Aligning on spending priorities helps avoid financial stress and ensures your resources are used wisely.
  • Surplus and Shortfall Management
  • What happens when there’s a surplus or a shortfall? Having pre-agreed strategies for managing these situations helps maintain financial stability.
  • Financial Discipline
  • Discipline is crucial for financial success. Both partners must be committed to managing money wisely and supporting each other’s financial goals.

Intimacy Alignment

  • Consistent Desire
  • Intimacy isn’t just physical; it’s also mental and emotional. Having a true, consistent desire for each other strengthens your bond and keeps your relationship vibrant.
  • Enjoyed Activities
  • Sharing activities you both enjoy helps build deeper connections and creates lasting memories.
  • Frequency and Organic Desire
  • Discussing the frequency of intimate moments and ensuring they’re driven by true desire, not obligation, helps maintain a healthy, fulfilling relationship.
  • Authentic Expression
  • Being able to express your true self without fear of judgment is crucial for intimacy. It fosters trust and deepens your connection.
  • The Past: Overcoming Triggers
  • Understanding Triggers
  • Triggers are emotional reactions to past experiences. Recognizing and addressing these triggers helps prevent them from derailing your relationship.
  • Communication and Safety
  • Creating a safe space for open communication about triggers is essential. Both partners should feel comfortable discussing their feelings without fear of judgment.
  • Building Trust and Intimacy
  • Working through triggers together builds deeper trust and intimacy. It shows that you’re committed to supporting each other through all challenges.

Safety: The Bedrock of Love

  • True Love and Connection
  • Safety is the bedrock of love and connection. Without it, there can be no true love or connection. Both partners must feel safe to express themselves and support each other.
  • Loving Out of Selection
  • Loving out of selection, not obligation, is the key to a thriving relationship. It means choosing to love and support each other every day.
  • Respecting Individuality
  • True safety respects each person’s individuality while prioritizing the couple. It follows the 1st Corinthians model of love, which is patient, kind, and not self-seeking.
  • The 1st Corinthians Model of Love

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a (ESV): “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.”

Conclusion: Define, Find, & Build

In closing, I am simply sharing my heart here and not claiming to have all the answers. I continue to learn more and awaken myself. I am applying many of the things I listed above, and they are working far better than reacting from a trigger, not knowing what I want and look for, etc. I hope you will find a great deal of value in it as well.

Selecting well clarifies the expectations prominently and concisely. After that, hold yourself accountable to the dream outcome and don’t settle. I am confident that God will provide a helpmate to achieve your greatest destiny together in a big way. Define, Find, & Build.

Much Love – God Bless
Stephen Scoggins

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