It sounds like something out of Mad Men: Put your man first. But that's exactly what Jennifer Wilkov, 41, and Kimberly Mylls, 42, are proposing in their new book, Boys Before Business. Their philosophy: Make your relationship the top priority, and you'll end up with a great love life and a successful job. We talked to the authors about their unconventional message.
Q: Why should women prioritize men before their career? Isn't that a bit old-fashioned?
A: People find our concept controversial before they take time to understand it. We suggest that women put themselves first, their relationship second, and their career last. That's the key to having a lasting relationship. It's not a matter of being traditional; it's about figuring out what you want in life. And the same goes for your boyfriend or husband: He should also put you before his career.
Q: And what exactly does it mean to prioritize men over a career? Instead of working late, for instance, you should socialize more?
A: Exactly. It is crucial for women to devote time and energy to their boyfriends or husbands just as they do to work commitments, so that means scheduling dates with your man and not breaking them. Ask yourself: If today were the last day on earth would I choose to be behind a desk or with the man I love? Put things in perspective.
Q: What if all your colleagues get promoted because they're working harder than you?
A: We actually believe the opposite will happen. You'll perform better at work when you have a loving support structure at home. The right man will want you to succeed in your career.
Q: Is your theory based on research or personal experience?
A: It's based on our personal experiences. We know that our philosophy works because that's how we found our men and have thriving careers.
Q: What do you hope women can learn from Boys Before Business?
A: The book is about building better relationships, which leads to a better career and, ultimately, a better life. We offer techniques to help you find and keep the man of your dreams, and we also show you how those same skills can be applied to your professional life.
Q: So why then is the philosophy Boys Before Business? Why isn't it more equal?
A: When you prioritize your relationship above all else, everything starts to flow effortlessly. If you have a fight with your boyfriend and then go to work, it's going to disrupt your performance. The opposite is also true: When you put that person first, you get their encouragement and support in all aspects of your life, including your career. Boys Before Business is really about putting people first.
Q: In the book, you suggest that a woman should prepare to meet the man of her dreams by literally clearing space in her closet for him. Why is this necessary?
A: It's about preparing yourself and your environment so that when he walks into your home there's physical and emotional space for him.
Learn more about the Boys Before Business philosophy here.