They became partners in their early twenties starting off with nothing as many do, only a gleam and a dream. Had it not been for the support of their families who believed in their dream they might not have survived that first year or so. But they had a mission and were determined to succeed, with a vision and strategy for getting there. It was risky, but their passion was stronger than their fear and their determination more powerful than the mistakes they would make. There would be setbacks – cash flow problems, emergencies, disappointments, and heartbreaks. But they would persevere, and over the years would prosper and expand, and become greatly admired for their success by all who know them. They would bring others into their fold who they would nurture, teach and mentor, developing a succession plan so that their mission would live on for generations to come.
This is not the story of a successful business enterprise that grew out of an entrepreneurial venture as you might think, but the story of a successful marriage that grew out of two people’s love for each other. It is the story of my brother Richard and his lovely wife Janice who celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary this past weekend. Marrying young, in their early twenties, they started off with nothing, only a gleam in their eyes for each other and a dream about a life they would build together. They had a mission and were determined to succeed, with a vision and strategy for getting there. Difficult at times, they experienced their share of setbacks – financial strains, illnesses, emergencies, and heartbreaks. Yet their family has grown, having raised two fine sons who have blessed them with five beautiful grandchildren, all of whom they have nurtured, taught and mentored, instilling in them the right values and character that will live on for generations to come.
I share this story for all those who dream of starting their own business, for there is no better model for an entrepreneurial venture than a successful marriage, as so beautifully demonstrated by my brother and his bride. And I also share this story for all those starry-eyed lovers starting out in life together, for marriage is the best example there is of an entrepreneurial venture, and it is the most exciting one you’ll ever experience.