People often forget that how we make money more important than the money itself. We fail to accept that sometimes having a good life means having fewer dollars. Katy Perry’s recent divorce from Russell Brand reminds me of this. Since 2008 the young woman has sold millions of albums and made millions of dollars. She got married, but announced her divorce within 14 months. As everyone wondered what went wrong, we found no accusations of infidelity. What nobody is saying yet, is that her career destroyed her marriage.
Let’s be honest. She was just too busy flying all over the world to spend enough time with her husband. She must have recognized the conflict between her family life and her career, but she obviously thought she could manage it. According to this article from U.S. Magazine, she informed her management team that she didn’t want to spend more than two weeks away from her then husband. Unfortunately, her two-week request was not always possible. On at least one occasion she was away for eighteen days. Even when the request was possible, she stressed herself out by flying to wherever he was.
Based on Katy Perry’s experiences, I have a few thoughts you should consider:
Think about what future you want while you pick a career or business. Too often single people choose careers that are suited to singles, while maintaining a desire for marriage and children. If the most successful people in your profession have failed marriages, you should take a hint now. You should pick a career that will be good for you at thirty, forty, fifty, etc. You might be married then, have children, and/or have parents in need of your time and attention. Please think about it.
Understand your industry and the various business models there – BEFORE you commit mentally or sign contracts. No matter your degree or skill set, you have many options. Some pay more and some pay less. Some are conducive to family life, and others are not. Katy Perry could have been a successful singer without being one of the best-sellers. She might have been one of the best-selling artists without having a crazy touring schedule. Not touring as much could jeopardize her career, but then again maybe not? Maybe it would have forced her to create a performing career that will support her marriage? This is a matter of priorities – plain and simple. You should think about the different ways to pursue your dreams before investing time and money. I fear that perhaps her contract(s) were not flexible. Maybe she couldn’t quit like other women in her industry do when they get married. Whatever path you choose while you are young should allow you to quit when life’s greater priorities show up.
Be realistic about what professional achievements you can or can’t have. Generally speaking, if you work a lot you should consider not getting married [now]. You should also consider what type of person to marry e.g. someone who will travel everywhere with you. There is no guarantee of success in marriage (so I’m told), but you should give yourself the best shot. Few of us want to admit that we “can’t” do anything, but that’s probably why few of us have success in our professions, bank accounts, and at home.
Remember that living up to your potential is B.S. This comes from an article by Penelope Trunk. Don’t automatically think that you have to maximize your career. You DON’T have to be the best at anything. You just have to be you. Don’t climb to the top just because you can, because you can’t carry everything with you up there.
If nothing else, be willing to pay the price for the life you want.
Picture the man or woman of your dreams. He or she shows up, and wants to spend forever with you, but there’s a catch. You will have to give up your dreams for your career or [most common] delay them. Let’s say you want to be a stay-at-home parent but the two of you will do better if you work. Or perhaps you want to move forward in your career and he/she prefers that you stay at home. The longer you are single, the more likely that you will choose a path that conflicts with the life of a successfully married person. You should therefore be prepared to make major adjustments when you meet that special person. It will cost you dearly, but the point is that the right person makes it worth the sacrifice.
Maybe you have decided that you want to have a certain job or title in the next five years. Perhaps you want to own a business or be self-employed. Maybe you even want to go back to school? These decisions all have financial consequences, but they will also be altered once you bring another person into the picture. If you are already married, then you have to consider children. I don’t recommend putting off thinking about this because when you notice it might be too late. You don’t want to become wealthy, then spend all your money correcting your mistakes.
Katy Perry was only married for 14 months!