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When you create a business with your spouse, you have amazing possibilities for an exciting and fun adventure like no other kind of business partnership. Understandably, operating a business with your life partner is not for every couple. It requires the ability to effectively merge your business and personal lives, skilfully sharing power and responsibility, so that you have fun working together and enjoy being and living with each other every day, without having to compromise.

First and foremost, you must enjoy each other’s company and genuinely like being around each other. By no means is it easy. But if you do decide to do it, make sure you really like being with each other and you have a good relationship in the first place. Business partners in a personal relationship have to spend more time together than most couples.

Being in business together can either make or break a relationship, since the boundaries between work and life can blur, which can lead to additional pressure being put on your personal relationship. If you are considering running a business with your spouse, consider all the things you and your partner could be and do different that would allow you to operate the business together with total ease and joy.

The following tips may help set you up for success, both at home and at work.

Generate a shared-vision for your life and business partnership

Nothing derails a business like having business partners working in conflict with each other. One of the enormous advantages associated with being in business with your spouse is the support that you’re able to give each other. To thrive and flourish while working closely with your spouse, you must create a shared vision and formulate a generative strategy for your business and your life. A shared vision and a generative strategy will allow you to live and work together in an effective way that minimises conflict.

Agree on what both of you want to create as your reality

Consider what you want to create as your life and living, and tailor the business to fit your lifestyle. Put the priority on your marriage and relationship first and always make sure to spend quality time together once the business time is over. What will begin to generate the expansion of your success starts with both of you!

It is how you think about yourself, your partner, your circumstances, and all the possibilities that lie ahead. If you don’t believe that you can have a thriving business together then you won’t create it. There is no way possible for you to have success if you don’t believe that it is truly possible for you to have that. If you have a strong relationship, complementary skills and shared vision, creating a business together can be a very rewarding experience. Focus your energy on what’s really important. Each morning ask each other, “Where can we put our energy today? What’s the one thing we need to do today that will create the most value?” Then ask yourself, “What is the one thing that only I can do?”

Develop your strategy

Creating a thriving business involves knowing what you want from your business. What is really essential are your targets, both financial and non-financial, that you need the business to generate in order to have the kind of life you want to lead. To know what you want to create, you first need to take a step back and start asking – “What is it I really would like to create here? What is it I can create? What choices do I have?”

You can start your business strategy by outlining the key priorities of your business into the future. The first thing you do is have a clear knowledge of what you have to offer. Your strategy must provide the details of your business, including the services you offer, what you want to achieve, what does your business stand for, how you’ll differ from the competition, financial projections, marketing strategies, what specific objectives do you want to achieve – both short and long term.

Take stock of your current financial state

If you would like your business to be a principal source of income for you and your partner, then you must know how much money your business needs to generate so you can live the life you desire. There is no more essential precept for creating a thriving business than to start by taking stock of your finances. Be aware of everything that occurs in your life in the financial arena, as this information will provide you with awareness of what might need to change.

Continuously convey appreciation and gratitude

Be continually appreciative and grateful for your spouse’s gifts, skills, capacities and insights. Express the respect by acknowledging each other for a job well done and by not judging. Don’t take your partner for granted. In co-creation of a successful business there must be a sense that you create and generate your business together and each person is a contribution to the other.

Develop clear roles and responsibilities

It is essential to set clear positions about who will take on which tasks for the business. Nothing will diminish joy and enthusiasm faster than feeling your partner is not pulling his/her weight. Don’t interfere with your spouse’s responsibility. Refrain from telling your spouse how to do the job. Avoid second-guessing and micromanaging. Just focus on your own activities and accountabilities. Personal and business respect go hand-in-hand for a business and life partnership. You will likely lose respect for each other if you are consistently judging or take a fixed point of view about anything your partner does or doesn’t do or how your partner is or is not. This is the key to being able to be with one another 24 hours a day.

Communicate effectively

Communication with one another is the key to being able to be with one another 24 hours a day. Keep communication open. To have a strong business and personal relationship, both you and your partner must be willing to fine-tune and develop communication skills and learn to swiftly handle disagreements and conflict with care and awareness.  You must be willing to talk to each other about things that are unpleasant. The key is to never confront with hostility and never try to make the other person wrong.

Be willing to make tough decisions together

To be successful at making tough decisions, both partners need to let go of conclusion and avoid the need to control outcomes. When you and your partner are able to let go of the need to control and are willing to be flexible with no fixed point of view, you will make decisions with a much greater level of efficiency. Try to minimise emotion when talking about important, big decisions. Avoid Arguments with One Simple Act: Listen with No Point of View.


Chutisa Bowman is a global business advisor, author and speaker who has spent the past 30+ years working with many top society changing companies and entrepreneurs of our time. She is recognized worldwide as a Pragmatic Futurist and thought leader on strategic awareness; conscious leadership; prosperity consciousness and business transformation in a period of economic uncertainty. She is a Right Riches for You facilitator. Right Riches for You is a speciality program of Access Consciousness.


Last week, Gold Coast woman Tara Brown contacted local police for advice about her relationship breakdown. Six days later, she was dead. The circumstances are horrifying.

On the same morning, not far away in Helensvale, another woman was shot dead in a fast food restaurant.

And on the same day, just a short drive up the M1 in Wacol, a woman was hospitalised under circumstances eerily similar to Tara’s.

Three women brutally attacked in two days. Two paid the ultimate price.  In all three cases, their attackers were allegedly the women’s former partners.

62 women (as of 10 September 2015) are dead in Australia this year at the hands of their former partners. This year, an average of two women a week have been murdered.

It is now time to get people in positions of authority to actually do something about domestic violence. We encourage women not to stay in abusive relationships, but where can they go? Where can they hide? Why should they hide? Why are they paying for their choice to leave – with their lives?

Women’s voices need to be heard. We’re shouting from the grassroots, but without representatives in positions of power such as the legislature assemblies and judiciary, it’s a muffle. Without those in a position to help, our voices are white noise.

Change can happen when our community leaders have the courage – and also when they are forced to act.  After the death of her mother by suicide, a 14 year old girl wrote to the New South Wales government and asked them to “educate children about domestic violence and how to seek help”. In her letters to politicians and her petition on change.org, she explained how she had no idea that being bashed by her father, and seeing him beat her mother, was not the norm for everyone else. And in doing so, she instigated a major change in the secondary school syllabus that will focus on domestic violence prevention.

When you share posts about domestic violence on social media, pledge to do more than merely being a social media activist.

Write to your State Member of Parliament.  Write to your Federal Member of Parliament. Ask them what they are doing to support an end to domestic violence.  When you share posts about domestic violence on social media, pledge to do more than merely being a social media activist. Don’t just click that “Like” or retweet that tweet, do something about it. Support foundations such as White Ribbon and Our Watch. Be active, rather than passive.

Both women and men can challenge attitudes and beliefs that promote a culture of violence and victim-blaming or shaming. Speak up! Hold the abusive person, not the victims, accountable for the abusive behaviour.

We as a society need to stop passively encouraging this violence against women. Many of us brush these incidents aside. We consider relationship violence as none of our business because it happens in private, or we think that there’s nothing we can do to help. But by our silence and inaction, we are allowing this violence to thrive. We need to be accountable.

But by our silence and inaction, we are allowing this violence to thrive. We need to be accountable.

Where are the male champions of change in the domestic violence arena? Just as women need men advocating for gender equity in the workplace, we need men to invite men to reflect on abusive and controlling behaviours. We need to focus on respectful relationships. We need to actively teach our sons and daughters how a respectful relationship works.  Our Watch is working with secondary schools is Victoria to support and teach teenagers skills in building respectful and healthy relationships, but how can you reinforce that in your own home?

Men – call out that friend who catcalls women. Make it clear that even small abuses of respect are not acceptable. Let them know you think it’s wrong without getting aggressive or confrontational about it.

Men – call out that friend who catcalls women. Make it clear that even small abuses of respect are not acceptable.

Every single one of us can act if someone we know behaves in a controlling manner towards their partner. You know the warning signs – checking up on her all the time, criticising how she dresses, monitoring her friendships. Being jealous and controlling are not signs of love, but violence.

Domestic violence knows no social barrier. Women are not chattels, to be bent to your will by any means necessary. We’re your mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, wives, partners, aunts. We’re your equals. What will you do about it?

 

If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual or domestic abuse, call 1800 RESPECT any time of day or night.

If you or someone you know is causing domestic abuse, call The Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491


The ability to drive in one direction for at least an hour or two, to then find yourself in a fabulous new place, teeming with great food, amazing wine and lazy, sunny days without end is right here.  All you have to do is hitch a caravan to your car and go for broke! Caravanning around Australia has so much to offer you and your family. It’s a perfect way to unwind and spend quality time with your loved ones. There’s no fussing about where you’re going to stay, how you’re going to get there – it’s all taken care of! Here are 6 tips for caravanning around Australia.

1. Be prepared

I know it seems like such a Girl Guides cliché, but you have to be prepared. If you are travelling around Australia, you have to keep in mind that you might be 375km between fuel stops (up to 800km in some areas) so you’ll have to carry your own spare fuel, food to last and your own water. Water is non-negotiable: especially in dry desert areas.

Make sure to carry your own fuel in case of emergency on a long run

2. Use Highway One

Also known as the M1, Highway One circles the rim of the country. It’s the only road that reaches right up North. It’s also the one most populated with rest stops, toilet facilities and overnight areas. These overnight areas are usually safe, as you’ll rarely be alone in one of them! Remember, caravanning can be a great social activity, too! Remember – sticking tonorth-south/east-west drives is safer than travelling on diagonals.

3. Stress less and go during off-season

You’ve been to the beach in summer, right? It’s crowded, hot and sticky. Fighting for a spot on the beach is no fun at all. So avoid going during summer, Easter and during school holidays. It’s definitely worth exploring places off the beaten track for some great spots unspoiled by an influx tourists.

4. Shack up in one spot as a “base”

If you love one aspect of Australia, it makes sense to explore it all. If you love wine, you can take your caravan to the Barossa Valley, unhitch the caravan and start exploring the region as a series of day trips! It’s a fantastic way to experience life in a different part of Australia without having to pick up sticks!

5. Always take the weather (report) with you

Just remember, Australia is a huge place with lots of weird weather (and no, I’m not just talking about a typical Melbourne day.) You might have to contest with 45-degree days, cyclones and big wets in the Top End. Know what you’re up for before you head there.

6. Embrace the caravanning spirit

Throw your itineraries and schedules away – caravanning is an adventurous way to unwind! You’re literally as free as the roads take you. No flights to catch, no timetables to follow; it’s as relaxing as you make it. Make new friends, explore new places and have more fun than ever before!
All images via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0

 

Bill-Tsouvalas-Leaders-in-Heels-imgBill Tsouvalas

Bill Tsouvalas is founder and managing director at Savvy Caravan Loans – a part of the Savvy Finance group. Bill has been working in the vehicle and leisure finance business for more than eight years. He also writes car reviews and articles on car finance, chattel mortgage, insurance, consumer protection and insurance related topics.


As Power Women, we control our career, diet, exercise and lifestyle. As women, our nature is to nurture. But when it comes to relationships, many of us seem to fall down. Divorce rates are staggering. So what are some of the situations we can find ourselves in?

Some of us seem to be beacons for troubled people with major issues like addiction. We go in to rescue them, and find ourselves bereft at the end of it. Some of us attract partners who cannot commit and wonder why. Some of us are in marriages resembling hell. There is arguing, misunderstanding, sometimes even violence. This wears out our self esteem to such a degree that we begin to blame ourselves! Worse, these situations can render us powerless to leave. After all, perhaps we have children to consider.

23 tips for transforming failing relationships:

1. If you have a willing partner, relationship counselling can be great for establishing boundaries and tasks to work on for the relationship.

2. If you are working alone, the work you do can shift the perception of your relationship, and provide an example your partner may choose to follow.

3. Take an internal inventory of your own habits and behaviour. Develop self awareness. This will allow you to see and take responsibility for your part in every situation.

4. Realise that continuing the same behaviour will give you the same results. Be open to change.

5. Stay on your side of the fence. This means bringing the focus to the self and making it a rule not to name, blame, shame or state your partner’s reality. An example of stating someone’s reality is to tell someone how he or she is feeling, or what they are doing.

6. Own your feelings. Our feelings belong to us and though we may be triggered by events, we cannot blame others for them.

7. Refrain from criticism. If something hurts your feelings, you can communicate how you feel in a constructive way, without lashing out. Use “feeling” words like sad, scared, frustrated, angry, ashamed, lonely etc. If you express how you feel and leave it at that, when asked why, you may respond by saying “When you do this, I feel that”. It is not asking anything, it is letting them know and leaving the choice up to them.

How-to-transform-failing-relationships

8. Do not expect or ask someone to change. Love is accepting someone for who they are and who they are not. It is only at the point of something we absolutely cannot accept that a relationship ends.

9. Find your joy! Stop focusing on what you hate and begin to focus on what you love. We are our attention. The happier you are within yourself, the less you are affected by others.

10. The beauty of self-awareness is that we begin to identify what is ours and what isn’t. This way, we can build self-referral, aiding us in becoming immune to outside poison.

11. Find gratitude and express it for the great things your partner does.

12. Begin to focus on your partner’s good points.

13. Recognise that we are all connected and our ultimate wish is the same. We all want to be loved.

14. Realise that we are mirrors to each other. What we give, we give to ourselves, what we withhold we also withhold from ourselves.

15. Find the love in your heart.

It’s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else

16. Always ask yourself, “Is this choice loving to me and to others?”

17. Release the Judge! When we stop classifying things as good or bad, right or wrong, we experience peace.

18. Show kindness to your partner, no matter what.

19. Surprise your partner with treats, big or small, in or out of the bedroom.

20. Compliment your partner. A compliment is a gift.

21. Go into service for the other. This will give you happiness and invite service to you.

22. Practice regular meditation, visualising your relationship as you desire it to be.

23. Always do your best, after all that’s all we can do!

Before you go, here are some helpful quotes by Dr. Phil:

  • Awareness without action is worthless
  • You’re only lonely if you’re not there for you
  • Anger is nothing more than an outward expression of hurt, fear and frustration
  • It’s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else
  • You cannot be who and what you are unless you have a lifestyle, both internally and externally, that is designed to support that definition of self

It is said that leaders can only lead by example. With any luck, your partner will be committed to a loving relationship and will choose to work with you. If not, practicing these tips will most likely inspire him to reciprocate accordingly. It’s your choice to stay or leave the relationship. That will require some courage, which of course you will have cultivated working on your self-awareness.

Featured image via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0

 

Tula Tzoras img Leaders in HeelsTula Tzoras

Tula, a.k.a The Inspiration Genie, is an experienced actor, author, speaker and host, with a successful acting career behind her, starring in several of Australia’s top rating shows as actor and presenter. For more information, courses and coaching, please visit www.tulatzoras.com


Separation and divorce reorganises nearly every aspect of your life, at a time of emotional turmoil. First of all, let’s acknowledge that there are limits to staying “bright and brave.” This is a difficult time you’re going through, and it is important to get support. The very last thing you need is to lose track of your financial planning right now. So, let’s go back to the most basic tool of every successful woman – the checklist.

Here are 5 things you need to keep track of when separating.

The Date

In Australia, divorces are generally granted only after a one-year period of separation. In addition, assets acquired after the date of separation may be dealt with differently than those acquired before. For both these reasons, it’s important to keep track of when the separation began. That’s easy when one party moves out of the house, less so when the separation occurs with both spouses under the same roof. In the latter case, it would be very wise to speak with your family law attorney about how to establish when a separation has occurred.

Financial Settlement

This 12-month period is the best time to work out the details of a financial settlement. Although it’s possible to put it off until after the divorce is final, this is generally a bad idea. Get professional advice, and remember that complete financial disclosure on both sides is the rule. Common wisdom about who owns what is often based on a misunderstanding of the law. More assets may be subject to division than you think.

Child Support and Custody

This requires some thinking into the future. Children get quite a bit more expensive as they get older, so work with a financial advisor to project costs for items such as school fees. Older children also have quite a bit more say in their living arrangements.

Your Will

Yes, you have to remember to change your will too. The provisions of your will and your former husband’s will may figure into the financial settlement as well. Don’t have a will? Now is the time to get on top of this task.

Succession Planning for Your Business

If you and your husband own and run a business together, special care must be taken to keep the business running and profitable while one or the other of you arranges your exit. It is generally unwise to try to maintain a business relationship while the personal side is coming apart. One of you will have to buy the other one out, and that can require some sophisticated financing. If you are not a co-owner, other arrangements may be possible to ensure that you do not just suddenly find yourself without a job and an income.

Sound arrangements about finances and the care of children take time and negotiation. Don’t be rushed through this process. Don’t rely on informal agreements, and don’t try to save money by using the same attorney. The legal and financial framework you build over the period of separation will determine much of what life looks like thereafter.

Featured Photo credit: Laura4Smith / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

 

Karen-Cho-Leaders-in-Heels-profile-picKaren Cho

With nearly a decade of experience in the legal profession, Karen’s main areas of interest include wills and probate matters, conveyancing, criminal law, debt recovery, civil litigation and commercial transactions. For every client Karen strives to reach positive outcomes and she does this by offering attentive, time-effective and friendly service. Karen is currently a Lawyer at Owen Hodge Lawyers.

 

 


Facebook Friend or True Friendship?

The definition of what makes a friend, and the behaviour that is required to maintain a satisfying, and connected friendship, does vary depending on who you ask. A friend these days can range from someone we agree to have as our Facebook friend or a close confidant.

However, there is some consensus in psychological research as to the key components that form and enhance friendships:

  • Shared interests or beliefs
  • Personally beneficial to each person
  • Close proximity or frequency of contact in any form that allows the relationship to continue in the same manner
  • Mutual affection or support

The Lifespan of a Friendship

Therefore, we usually find that, irrelevant of age, we develop friendships based on these factors. So when you were in high school, you were surrounded by people, outside of your family, that were going through similar challenges (i.e., facing exams) and often shared similar interests (i.e., sports teams, music) and beliefs.

After leaving school, the trajectory of people’s lives tends to become more diverse. For some, this means focusing on meeting a partner, getting married and having a family, while for others the primary focus may be on career development and progression, or a variety of different goals. The time points of which people face common challenges (i.e., getting pregnant, buying their first property, managing expectations of superiors) or striving towards goals (i.e., travel, making partner in the firm, financial independence, developing a business idea) may be different, and this means that the similarities/shared challenges, benefits from the relationship or proximity that we once had with our friends may also change.

Career progression at times can alienate or make it difficult to maintain the friendships you once had. Sometimes that can be due to less available time, differing goals, or changing levels/capacity for support. Success in life, including career is enhanced by friendships and a social network that is truly supportive and personally beneficial. That said, friendships don’t necessarily come easily and require work to maintain.

4 Strategies for Maintaining Valuable Friendships

1. Re-identify shared interests or beliefs

It may have been your enjoyment of a particular music genre that drew you close initially, or similar beliefs such as the way you treat animals, or key values such as loyalty or commitment. By identifying what is similar, the foundation of your friendships remains clear, even if you operate in different domains of life, spend your time differently, and have different goals or future plans.

2. Recognise what is valuable to you or unique about the friendship

As you progress in your career, it can be easy to overlook the benefits of a friendship that is not central to your day to day life. By reviewing how friendships contribute to your life (no matter how small or frequent) you get a better picture of how to make your friendships a part of who you are, and allow you to work towards a life vision.

3. Be honest with yourself about friendships and their role in your life

Sometimes you find that people continue to pursue friendships due to the length of the friendship, rather than for the mutual affection and connection. To progress requires you to build and grow relationships that are prosperous to your life and goals, and gently distance yourself from those that hold you back or do not consider what is truly in your best interests.

4. Identify for yourself the type of relationships and friendships that support you for your given life stage and vision.

Relationships are dynamic and changeable, this means that you don’t have one set of friendships or that the nature of your friendship will necessary stay the same for life, but rather they are evolving. In real terms, sometimes your close to the people you work side by side with on that impending deadline, and sometimes you have a greater affinity with friends that bring out your silly side.

Featured Photo credit: PC – My [email protected] / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Dr-Gemma-Russell-Leaders-in-Heels-bio-imgDr. Gemma Russell

Dr. Gemma Russell is a registered Clinical Psychologist and Director of Clever Minds Psychology, in Melbourne, Australia.  Dr. Russell has worked within the private and public health sector and criminal justice system, in Australia and New Zealand. Her academic career has involved publications for notable journals and the presentation of research at conferences within the disciplines of Psychology, Psychiatry and Criminal Behaviour.  Dr. Russell specialises in delivering evidence-based assessment and consultation to adults interested in self-development, and developing a growth mindset to be more effective within their relationships, business or life in general.