I am still in shock, even though the pundits said it would never last! After all the build up, angst, excitement and lavish reality television hoopla, the marriage of Kim Kardashian to professional basketball benchwarmer Kris Humphries was over in 72 days. While most of the small business world may not have noticed, there are actually five lessons we can all learn from watching Kim Kardashian.
1. Communication is the key to any partnership. Kim and Kris have not talked since Kim filed for divorce; however, communication was never their strong suit. They never seemed to have communicated well during the entire courtship. They always looked awkward standing together (Ok, so maybe it had something to do with the fact that Kim is 5’3” and Kris is 6’9”.) But any partnership or team working together first needs to establish an effective form of communication because, the fact is, things will not always go smoothly. In fact, business partnerships need to be treated like a second marriage, and the rules are the same: Never stay mad for more than 24 hours, and don’t use the employees (or your children) to get back at your partner.
2. Building a success takes time. Kim has been in and out of a lot of relationships in the last five years. She engaged Kris after six months of dating him. Now after a quick engagement and a carefully documented fall wedding, she calls it quits after less than three months of marriage. In business, we need to be patient. Most overnight successes have actually taken seven to ten years to build! There is a lot of riding the roller coaster up and down in business (just like in marriage). Every owner needs to have the resilience to celebrate the good times and weather the storms.
3. Stop procrastinating! Be quick to fire. According to Kim, when her marriage wasn’t working, she wanted to end it quickly. This is actually great advice. Too many of us operate businesses with employees that are not effective. We delay firing them because it is too painful, and we have to admit we made a mistake. During these times, think of what an inspiration Kim is. If she can do it, so can you. Who should you fire today?
4. Always be adding to your brand. Kim was trying to build her brand through her marriage. It may have been a publicity stunt. Even though she is richer and more famous than Kris, Kim had eyes on an NBA team wanting to hire him because she would be watching at every game. In fact, the NBA lockout may have had an influence on the divorce. Every company should promote the famous brands they do business with. It’s a great credibility builder and will lead to increased revenue.
5. Honesty is now the only policy. Immediately after the announcement of the divorce, there were accusations that Kim only did this for the money. Her mother, Kris Jenner, toured the airwaves claiming that Kim married out of love and that she did not make $18 million on the wedding. And the debate still rages on if Kim should return the $2 million engagement ring. So understand that in this 24/7 news world, there really are no secrets.
What have you learned from Kim Kardashian?