Why Business Is Like An Arranged Marriage

Now, I’ll preface this post by saying that I know NOTHING about being in an arranged marriage. I’m not in one, nor do I actually know anyone personally who is. I guess we could always use the analogy of marrying for money. Something I also don’t know about, but that doesn’t sound half bad (I’M KIDDING!! Sort of).

So I turn to the almighty Wikipedia to start this post off with a quote:

Scholars ask whether love and respect in marital life is greater in arranged marriages than autonomous marriages. Epstein suggests that in many arranged marriages, love emerges over time. Willoughby suggests arranged marriages in many cases start cold, warm up and then boil over time as the couple grows. Autonomous marriages, in contrast he claims, start out boiling hot but many eventually find that this heat dissipates and is left with a relationship that’s cold.

This is exactly how I feel about business.

There is so much crap out there about building a business based on your passions. Which usually ends up leading people to believe they have to find THE ONE. It’s the same shit that happens with relationships – people going around waiting, praying, that THE ONE will fall into their lap. Having too many options, too many possibilities, that it feels hard to settle on just one.

Well here’s a different perspective.


What if ‘the one’ doesn’t exist. What if the real way to build a business (or I guess a relationship for that matter) is to find the one that feels about 75% right, and DO THE WORK to make it 100%.



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I didn’t love my work when I started. I was committed. I was determined to make it work. I was open to the possibilities. I loved the lifestyle it would give me. And I loved learning all the new skills I needed to learn to figure out how to make it work. I loved the game of starting a business and the opportunity it provided me to challenge myself while creating something that people need.

But I wasn’t in love with the work itself, the way I was doing it when I started. I fell in love over time. Slowly, it started to become a part of me. I started to get to know it better, and to get to know myself better in the process. I stopped worrying about other opportunities I was missing out on, and started bringing everything that was ME into my business. And it shaped itself along the way into what Uncaged is now.

Maybe it’s time to take some of the hot and heavy passion out of your business and look at it with a more pragmatic eye, one that sees beyond the selfish passion and instead looks at what might be more marketable in the long term, and where that passion, the marketing, and the money making combine – this is the sweet spot of business, and you can’t have too much emphasis on one over the others.

I’d much rather see you start a business with a solid foundation but that’s maybe not PERFECT for you, but that has the potential to grow into a loving relationship, than fall sloppily head over heels with an idea and burn out within 3 months because it was just a rebound and you were lonely and that last vodka+soda probably wasn’t the best idea. Or was that just me?


Start with what you have, and fall in love with along the way.


I’m starting to be convinced that this is the ONLY way.

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PS. If you need helping taking that inkling of an idea and learning how to make it uber specific, clear, and marketable, and then learn how to actually start to get clients, you should check out Uncage Your Business. It starts in September but I’ll be offering a super early bird registration period in the next few weeks. Click here to make sure you are on the list to get notified.


  1. SusanFerraro on December 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Awesome (and quite entertaining) post! And I love this perspective. I am typically a love at first sight kinda girl, but taking away the notion of the ONE relieves a hell of a lot of pressure!

  2. NadiaChaudhry on December 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I totally agree with this one! Experienced it myself with my biz.

  3. Temmy on December 5, 2013 at 10:14 am

    This is spot on! And you have a very educating perspective.

  4. Rebecca Tracey on December 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Temmy Thanks Temmy!

  5. Rebecca Tracey on December 5, 2013 at 10:57 am

    NadiaChaudhry Right!? I think it’s really common.. we start with what we have and let it growwwww

  6. Rebecca Tracey on December 5, 2013 at 10:58 am

    SusanFerraro Thanks Susan! Love at first sight can be FUN… but not always sustainable!

  7. ketaggart on December 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    This is so helpful, as usual, Rebecca!  I finally started my biz (although I’m taking teeny tiny baby steps), but I keep second-guessing myself because I don’t have the feelings like “I absolutely love it – it completes me – I’m changing the world” etc.  But I’m pushing on and believe it will evolve over time into something that feels like me and that I really enjoy (and maybe even love?) doing.
    Similar to relationships too is the fact that many people give up when the spark dims.  But in relationships & business it is up to US to change it, improve it, do whatever it takes to make it what we dream it will be!  Obviously, there are times when throwing in the towel is the right thing to do.  But it’s too easy to give up in search of that “falling in love” feeling that is so enticing. 🙂

  8. Erica Lee Strauss on December 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    It’s so strange that you wrote about this this week – I was actually doing some Googling about arranged marriages on Monday or Tuesday. The issue of whether you can “learn to love” someone or something has always been intriguing to me. Your post totally just solidified for me that YOU CAN! And in fact, maybe you SHOULD – in business as well as romance.
    Things change. People evolve. I think you’re right: You just gotta start SOMEWHERE and handle the rest as it comes. xo

  9. marindajvr on December 6, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Love your point about that it takes hard work. I can totally relate to 75/25%. Things don’t just fall in your lap — or everyone would be happy and “arrived” (which I don’t think ever happens anyway).

  10. Rebecca Tracey on December 8, 2013 at 10:48 am

    marindajvr You’re sooo right Marinda! There’s a reason not everyone succeeds with  their businesses. I think it’s when people expect to have it all figured out, that they fail.

  11. Rebecca Tracey on December 8, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Erica Lee Strauss hahah soooo random that you were googling that Erica! It’s a super interesting concept to me too!

  12. Rebecca Tracey on December 8, 2013 at 10:49 am

    ketaggart DAMN Jerry Maguire for the whole “it completes me” thing!!! I think that falling in love feeling is why people get shiny object syndrome – the grass is always greener on the other side, don’t wanna miss out, etc.

    It’s like cheating on your business!

  13. QuianaMurray on December 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Such a great perspective on business. Enjoyed this post. It is much better to grow the love over time than burn hot and fizzle out!

  14. Marinda on January 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Rebecca Tracey Indeed. I used to think that way, but I was fortunate enough to find the right people to show me some of the ropes and get me thinking more like it’s an experiment (or as you call it, income projects) Makes the world of a difference!

  15. thaitony on November 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Funny. I come from a culture of arranged marriages. Heck, I am the (physical) product of one myself. I know how they work. It’s for societies that place the collective above the individual. Individualist, entrepreneurial, “free” personalities don’t have a chance in hell of making an arranged marriage work.  I wouldn’t do it. The idea of being around someone I don’t even like all that much all day long is daunting.

    But I don’t seem to notice (or object to) similar levels drudgery when it comes to business.

    Maybe that’s where all your talk about message and purpose come in?

    Also, you may enjoy this: