You want to be a boss. You dream of being the type of woman who is on her grind, building an empire and taking no prisoners. Chairman by M.I, I’m a Boss by Rick Ross, and Looku Looku by The Mavins are key songs in the playlist of your life.
There’s only one big problem – you think your partner might be a hater, #SwagDeflator – every #MotherlandMogul’s worst nightmare.
One of the most critical factors that will impact your professional and entrepreneurial growth is your significant other. Having a partner who supports you is a godsend – their belief in your talents and dreams will have you thinking you’re Oprah 2.0 or the female Dangote-in-waiting. Having a partner who actively blocks your shine is the worst.
With this in mind, we, at She Leads Africa, have come up with a few tips to help you spot a partner who will support your #MotherlandMogul swag. They’ll be your very own Swag Assist.
1. Was his mum a hustler?
To start, you have to take it all the way to the beginning. Our families and childhoods have a huge influence on what we think our lives should look like when we become adults.
If a guy grew up with a mum who was always on her hustle, he’s more likely to see your hustle as normal and ordinary. Additionally, if his mum is a hustler herself, she’s more likely to tell him to chill if he starts complaining too much about your work schedule.
This isn’t to say that sons of stay-at-home mums will want you to do the same. But understand that it may take him some time to get used to your hustle.
2. How much gendered language does he use?
Any potential partner who uses words like “men’s work” or “women’s work” should raise red flags.
To be a #SwagAssist, a guy needs to have his own beliefs about gender norms not what society has told him. He needs to be comfortable sharing the work at home. For example, if you’re running late at the office, he should put the kids to bed.
If you have a big meeting the next day and don’t have time to cook dinner, he needs to be fine with that. If your man sees the world in one particular way and thinks that you need to stay in your lane, he’s probably not going to be the Barack to your Michelle.
3. How hard does he try to upgrade you and your business?
Beyoncé told the world she wants to upgrade her man, but you should also have someone who wants your business to reach the next level.
There are plenty of guys who pay lip service to supporting their partners, but in reality they couldn’t care less. Does your partner think about how their personal and professional networks can help you grow? If they have special skills, do they use them to support you? For example, if he’s a banker has he offered to look at your numbers? A #SwagAssist will energetically try to support your professional aspirations.
“Align your partner with your ambition.”
–Bola Adesola, MD Standard Chartered Nigeria
4. What does he say when you complain about the hustle?
We all have times when nothing seems to be working, and we just want to roll up into the fetal position and give up.
Yes, we all want a partner who is occasionally going to baby us and tell us everything is going to be okay. Here’s the thing though, building a business isn’t child’s play and having a partner who is going to let you give up is not helpful if you’re really trying to be a #MotherlandMogul.
You need someone who cares about you so deeply that they’ll listen to you complain, but believes in you so much that they force you to get back up.
5. How does he react to your business success?
When you’ve just signed a big deal and you tell him, pay attention to his expressions and tone of his voice. Does he give you a weak smile, like kind Yetunde gave her boyfriend when he proposed with an ugly ring? Does he say congrats quickly and then get back to how bad the traffic was in Lekki? If the answer is yes, then you’ve got yourself a certified #SwagDeflator. A #SwagAssist will make it clear that you da real MVP.
He will give you Azonto, Shoki and the running man all at the same time. All of his social media followers will know that you just won. He’ll be so excited people will think he won the lottery. That’s the sort of partner you need walking with you on the journey to professional success.
Everyone knows that one of the easiest ways to lose a war is to start fighting on two fronts. Just ask any German commander circa early 1940s.
It takes a village to raise an entrepreneur – and guess what? Your husband, your bae, your partner, your number 1 is a critical member of that village.
We hope you find someone who cares about your professional happiness and success just as much as you do.
If you’re married and your guy is a swag deflator, please don’t cite us in the divorce proceedings.
16 thoughts on “How to spot a swag assist”
“When you heard a company called She Leads Africa started up you were wondering when they were going to call you.” lol. Abeg, this is true o.
This is true on so many levels. How to find a partner who can compliment your swag! My question is this, what are we doing to help our men level up – gendered language, etc. We can’t keep passing on the ones who are not ready; it is way too many of them. I am not in it to change a man but as a society, shouldn’t we be talking about this? Helping me to support women and also, vise versa.
@Yewande That is a very valid question. One could argue that many African men (at least Kenyan men) are raised in a culture that encourages them to be #swagdeflators. Even if they don’t necessarily harbor these feelings, loads of men are scared of their wives/girlfriends being perceived as more successful by friends and family.
LOL – good one
This is something I’ve very nervous about because my boyfriend is very supportive but his family is very traditional and I wonder if that family pressure may push him to act in a different kind of way if we were to get married or something like that
Align your partner with your ambition!!!!
That’s what I’m talking about. I think too many women try to dumb themselves down for guys. Instead the guys should be stepping up for us.
I was just talking about this yesterday with a friend. I had to break up with a guy because he called my business “my little thing”. I put alot of time and energy into building my business and don’t want somebody degrading it. Needless to say it was over for us soon after that
I love this picture of President Obama and FLOTUS. You can tell he really loves her and is proud of her. That’s the kind of relationship I’m trying to get in 2016. #RelationshipGoals LOL
SLA where’s the swag assist shirt? Gotta get one for my man cause he is very supportive and really enjoys helping me with my business. It is something that we are building together and I think it has brought us closer
“Align your partner with your ambition” – that is my favorite line and one I will share with my friends. I think it’s good to have someone to support you and help provide motivation when tings get tough
Plz ohh where are we to be finding dis men bcuz dey are not around where I stay. D only guys Im knowing are d ones who want der wives to be at home with pikin
The point around the mom being a hustler is a valid one because the beliefs and values are instilled from childhood so if the boy sees his mom working and managing a business he will beleive that it is normal and will probably not have a problem with his wife being like that
I don’t agree w/the one around gendered language. There is women’s work and men’s work but it’s most importnat if everyone respects each other. That is the key to a good marriage
God punish any #SwagDeflators in this 2016. Amen 🙂
@Yewande’s point is fair but isn’t the responsiblity on the parents. How can I as a 25 year old woman try to teach a grown man how to respect and support women? He will not listen to me
My last rxshp ended after I realised my ex was just going w the flow. When we met in the UK, he ‘was’ a feminist. As soon as we returned to Naij, he decided a woman had her place