So many self-help books focus on what you can do to improve yourself in order to succeed in life. However, few of them take into account that once you are married, you have a partner to work with, too. Decisions are not entirely your own anymore. Once you are married with kids, it is exponentially harder to take risks, change your career path, and so much more. Basically, that leaves you with one of two options: Stay single until your succeed, or find a partner who has the qualities that will help keep your moving towards your goals for the rest of your life, no matter what part of the journey you are on. Obviously, the latter is far more appealing.
To some, this concept may sound too good to be true, but there are plenty of examples out there of “power couples” who really exist. Look at Michelle and Barack Obama, for example. He said, “For the past 25 years, you have not only been my wife and the mother of my children. You have been my best friend. You took on a role you didn’t ask for, and you made it your own with grace, and with grit, and with style, and good humor.”
The goal of this article is to help you find the other half of your power couple. Of course, they do not need to have all 30 of these traits, but if they did, it would almost guarantee that you would become successful.
30. A True Life Partner
There is a good reason why some people prefer to say “partner” instead of “husband” or “wife”. This suggests that both of you are equal to one another, and that there is a balance of power in the relationship. That is absolutely key to having a successful life and marriage. In a business partnership, both people should be pulling their weight equally in order for the project to succeed. Same goes for a life partner. This means that both people are always trying to work on making the relationship last. The traits people want from a partner will change from couple to couple, so it is important to reflect inwards and know what you are looking for in a partnership.
29. Tackling Difficult Challenges
In one psychological study, couples were given the option of trying to complete one of two puzzles- one easy, and one hard. The couples who chose to work on the more challenging puzzle together actually ended up stay together longer than the people who chose the easy task. This goes to show that partners who are willing to overcome difficult times are more likely to last a lifetime. And when it comes to building a successful career, there will always be bumps in the road. So it’s key to finding someone who is willing to stick around when the going gets tough.
One of the most common traits among millionaires is that they know how to spend less, and save more. After all, no one became rich from wasting money on stupid purchases. This may be the most important trait to look for in your husband or wife. One partner may be trying to save money, invest, and build wealth…But the other is going on shopping sprees every weekend. This sort of dynamic will mean that neither of them will succeed, because one person is always dragging the other down. Financial problems are the number one reason why couples fight and ultimately end up getting a divorce, as well, so be sure to look for this early on.
27. Sharing Common Goals and Aspirations
If you tell someone your dreams, and their response is a “oh, that’s nice” with a roll of the eyes, you need to say goodbye. In order to be successful, you need a partner who is excited by the idea of your aspirations. You should feel excited by theirs, too. Having common goals is essential for building successful careers side-by-side. For example, maybe someone wants to become the next President of the United States, but you hate politics. Or maybe one person wants to travel the world, and the other is a home-body. It is helpful if you find someone who is in the same industry, or your goals of the life you aspire to have will mesh well together. When you find the right person, it will just click, and you will both know that you have found your co-pilot.
26. Willingness to Make Sacrifices
The road to success is never paved with gold. You may need to move to another city, state, or country in support of one another’s dreams. This also means that you will probably have to give up watching Netflix every night or going out to eat multiple times a week, too. A good partner to an ambitious and successful person will never resent making sacrifices, because they will understand that it is all part of the process. And if you are both on the same page working towards similar goals together, it should actually be mutually beneficial in the long run.
Hard work and success go hand-in-hand. This usually means spending overtime at the office, or extended periods of time when you and your partner do not see one another. This requires a lot of trust in the relationship. If your husband or wife is constantly checking in to see what you are doing, it may be distracting, and take away from your work flow. It may take a while to build up trust in a relationship, but it is completely necessary in order for you to succeed in your career.
If you are hoping to start a business and eventually become a millionaire, it means you are pretty ambitious. While it is possible to fuel that ambition all on your own, your relationship can make or break your momentum. When you begin a relationship with someone who is just as ambitious as you are, it’s like getting a new burst of energy. Suddenly, you want to keep doing better not only for yourself, but for them, too. Two ambitious people working side-by-side can be a beautiful thing.
23. Sense of Humor
They say laughter is the best medicine. Having a good sense of humor can diffuse a tense or awkward situation, which is bound to happen at some point. (After all, we are only human.) It can also help people see the humor in a situation that some people might take very seriously. By laughing more, you are both more likely to be happy and have fun with one another. If you can honestly make each other laugh, there is a good chance that you can both last in a long-term relationship.
22. Sharing and Supporting Financial Goals
Obviously, if you and your partner both want successful careers together, you need to sit down and set financial goals. Maybe this is paying off your student loans by a certain date and becoming debt-free. Or, maybe it’s a set amount of money you are attempting to save in order to have a down payment on a house. Sometimes, married couples will go as far as to help pay each other’s debt, because technically, your debt becomes your responsibility after marriage, anyway. If both partners are not on the same page (like if one person is totally frugal and the other loves to go on shopping sprees) then it will cause a big problem.
21. Being a Shoulder to Cry On
There will be days when terrible things happen. Maybe there will be a death in the family, or some other kind of major loss. Married couples need to have empathy for one another, especially in times of crisis. This also means accepting that sometimes, they need to take a break from moving forward with their goals at full speed. This kind of support truly is “in sickness and in health”.
20. Mutual Respect
The definition of respect is; “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” Respect goes beyond the initial infatuation and attraction that you might feel for a romantic partner. It is the one quality that should last a lifetime. Often times, you would never do anything to hurt the person you respect, because it would cut so much deeper to lose that person. So long as both partners have true respect for one another, they should be able to work together very smoothly, whether it is in a business endeavor, or in a marriage.
19. Making Decisions Together
Every major financial decision should be made together, or with the help of a financial advisor. One partner should never make a huge purchase like a car or a home before consulting the other. If you want to make a big purchase, sit down and talk to your husband or wife about the decision. They may be able to help you come up with some solutions on how to save money with a cheaper option, too.
18. Transparency About Spending
When you are trying to reach certain financial goals, it is important to be honest about how much money you are both spending. It’s smart to sit down and make a budget, so that you at least know that bills are getting paid, and that money is set aside for your nest egg. Sometimes, both partners agree that one of them is better at managing money than the other. This is perfectly fine, so long as everything is totally transparent. Unfortunately, some people are very dodgy about discussing money, even after they are married. If your partner refuses to discuss money, this may be a sign that there is an issue with financial abuse.
17. Planning For The Future
If you plan to spend the rest of your life with someone else, it is important to know what the future holds. Both partners should make a plan for retirement, and take out a life insurance policy after they are married. This is especially important if you have children, and you want to make sure they receive something in their last will and testament. If all of this sounds confusing or overwhelming, consult a lawyer or a financial advisor. They should be able to walk you both through the steps and take all of the stress out of your future-planning.
16. Being Best Friends
One of the most common things you will hear adorable elderly couples say about one another is that they are best friends. Far too many couples fall into the trap of getting caught up in a whirlwind romance without bothering to be friends first. We’re not saying to put each other in the “friend zone”. That could be counter-productive. But the most successful couples truly know how to have fun with one another. And at the end of the day, you want to hang out with this person more than anyone else. Many power couples will not hesitate to call one another their “best friend”.
“Grit” is the ability to overcome obstacles and keep going, no matter what. These people are incredibly resilient, and they won’t crumble under pressure. If you want to be in a true “power couple” that goes above and beyond the competition, grit is absolutely key to going the distance. This attribute is usually more difficult to find in someone unless you have known them for a long time, and you can see the progress they have made. Or, you can tell if they have comitted to something for a long time before they met you.
14. Good Rapport and Communication Skills
Obviously, good rapport and open communication is key to having a long-lasting marriage, but it is also essential for anyone who wants to succeed. If you can be honest with one another every step of the way, there is no need to hide anything. Truly understanding one another’s motivations helps a lot with moving forward, and getting feedback- whether it be constructive criticism or loving support is incredibly helpful.
So far, we have mentioned a lot of the emotional aspects of a good relationship, but one huge part of a marriage is having physical intimacy. There is something to be said of sexual chemistry. It is that spark of instant attraction where you both click right away. Being around them is easy, fun, and it never gets old. Sometimes, that initial attraction can fizzle out with time, but when it is brought together with a true love and attraction for someone’s personality, the chemistry should continue to fuel itself for a lifetime.
One of the many things that leads couples to fall apart is when they lose sexual interest in one another. Many of those couples have apparently never had great chemistry with their partner to begin with, but they ignored the fact that they never had a spark. If you are still single, try to find someone who you have sexual chemistry with, but that you also genuinely love and respect, too. When it comes to success, this chemistry is going to help you have the work-life balance you are looking for. After all, we all need to have fun sometimes!
12. Accepting Imperfections
No one is perfect. Not even you! We all make mistakes, and everyone has some annoying quirks. As time goes on, the honeymoon phase is over, partners begin to reveal more about what they dislike about one another. And that’s okay. In order to be your true self in a relationship, you should love yourself, first. Many people have a difficult time loving themselves, because of all of those imperfections. So long as you both realize that imperfections are apart of any relationship, you can make it through. It can even be a beautiful thing, because if one person is lacking in something, maybe the other partner can make up for it, and vice versa.
11. The Ability to Pivot
Sometimes, when you are on the road to building a business or moving up in your career, something will come along that totally de-rails your daily routine. It may even force you to move to another location if you want to start making more money. On top of that, if a project or a business is no longer profitable, you might have to completely drop one idea and start working on the next one. This will require you and your partner to pivot at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, though, there are some people who are set in their ways. They don’t like to pivot at all, and they want everything to remain the same.
Whether it’s a romantic relationship, or a business partnership, two long-term commitments require a lot of give-and-take. If one person is very selfish and believes it always has to be his or her way, it is not likely that they can move forward on the path to success. If you are building a business, there will be plenty of decisions along the way that will affect the both of you. And both people need to have a say in the process.
9. Encouraging Friendships Outside the Marriage
There is a saying that “no man is an island”, and this counts for couples, too. No matter how great a relationship may be, it is still necessary (and healthy) to seek friendship outside of your home. This could be as simple as joining a bowling league or going out for a “girl’s night” once a week. Networking is also often necessary to move forward in your career. The more people you meet, the more connections you make. By meeting more people, you will find more opportunities to get closer to success.
8. Good Grooming
As much as people try to not judge a book by its cover, the reality is that the majority of people truly do. Being well-groomed and dressed is a huge part of moving up in the world. There is a saying “dress for success”. Well, if you want to be taken seriously, start dressing for the job you actually want…At least, when it’s appropriate to do so. If you and your partner dress sloppy, then neither of you will be likely to be taken seriously by the powers that be.
7. Being Your Biggest Fan
If you are going to be by your spouse’s side for the rest of your lives, it only make sense if you are each other’s “biggest fans”. You love what they do for a living, and you love what they do, too. Of course, you don’t have to be a celebrity to make this happen. Maybe you love that your spouse is a great nurse, teacher, or chef. By truly admiring one another, it will go a long way in the marriage.
6. Organization Skills
When you are working really hard to achieve your dreams, you will probably discover that more responsibilities are added to your plate as time goes on. If you get one task mastered, you can move on to the next one, or pay to outsource the work to someone else. With all of these projects going on, you need to be very organized.
Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist, or Agnostic, relationships usually work best if you and your partner are both on the same page. Is it possible to have a relationship where both of you are from different faiths? Absolutely. However, there are certain levels of faith that are are likely to crash and burn- like an Atheist matched with a devout Christian. And, for some people, their spirituality has a lot to do with their success. They may believe that God is helping them, or that the Universe is paving the path to their destiny. Spirituality should be a conversation that you have fairly early on during the dating process.
4. Parenting Style
If you and your partner decide to have a family, it is very important that you are both on the same page about parenting. Do you want them to go to private, or public school? Do you want one spouse to stay home to raise the kids, or do you want to pay for child care? If both partners are very ambitious, the mother may want to work, too. If the mother has the option to work from home, that is a perfect setup for both people to succeed. Or, the mother will have to make sacrifices. Make sure you have this discussion ahead of time, because irreparable resentment can arise later on.
3. Family and Traditions
Having a work-life balance is extremely important, especially if you want to enjoy the fruits of your success. Once you begin to start a family with your partner, it becomes more important than ever to make sure your family values and traditions line up. Maybe you like to celebrate certain holidays that the other has no exposure to. Or maybe the importance of family in your life is much stronger than your spouse. These are differences that can be worked through, of course. And having cultural differences can sometimes be new and exciting. However, there are certain things that may clash, and take away from the work-life-balance you desire to have.
Being married to someone with an open mind is a necessity to anyone who is trying to change their life. Let’s look at the example of Chris Gardner. You may have already seen the movie about Chris’ life called The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith. In case you don’t know; Chris Gardner had a successful career in the medical industry, but he wanted to become a millionaire. He became passionate about becoming a stock broker, and was willing to quit his job in order to pursue it.
However, his partner was not so open-minded. She abandoned him, taking their life savings with her. Chris and his son became homeless, and he had to struggle to get his foot in the door. He was so determined, he did actually become a millionaire. If she had just been able to see outside of the box, she would be married to a millionaire today.
1. Listening Skills
With any relationship, the ability to truly listen to one another is very important. For someone who is trying to be successful in life, having a partner who can truly listen and understand your mindset is absolutely essential. You should also be a good listener in return, of course. By having open and honest communication, you can prevent any serious issues that may come up later in the relationship.