Want to create massive success in your business? Start at the top with insights from the world’s self-made billionaires.
These billionaire power couples credit their success to one common factor: the strength of their relationships.
So we’re pulling back the curtain and revealing the wealth of their relationship wisdom.
Whether it’s working together in the same business or supporting each other with their individual pursuits, these power couples have sage advice for any relationship.
Here are 5 billionaire power couples on how they make their relationships work.
Billionaire Power Couple #1
Oprah Winfrey & Stedman Graham
Net Worth: $2.7 Billion
You Do You
Together 33 years, Oprah and Stedman have talked openly about the fact that marriage isn’t for them.
When asked by Vogue about her thoughts as a woman bucking the trend, Oprah dropped this truth bomb:
“Live life on your own terms.”
Instead of marriage vows, their relationship is based on a commitment to helping each other become their best selves. Whatever that looks like for them as individuals.
In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Stedman explains what that means.
The thing about our relationship is, I want the best for her… I’m dedicated to her happiness. I want her to be the best she can possibly be… And so for me, I’ve been able to find my own happiness, and to find my own skills, my own talents, and my own abilities.”
Oprah reflects this sentiment in an interview with Harry Connick Jr.
“This is the thing that’s so wonderful about Stedmen… [he] has wanted the best for me, and has never felt like he was in my shadow, but always pushing me to the light. I mean, that’s what you want in a [partner].”
- Support each other to become your best selves
- Do your relationship YOUR way
Billionaire Power Couple #2
Bill & Melinda Gates
Net Worth: $107.6 Billion
Work as a Team
Bill and Melinda Gates aren’t just champions for equality in their philanthropic work – it’s core to keeping their marriage strong as well.
As Melinda reveals in an interview with Business Insider, “We are partners in both senses that people use the word these days: at home and at work.”
She shares a humbling example to make her point. “We always do the dishes together after dinner as a family.”
Research supports the wisdom of this approach. Relationships that share the unpaid labour – whether that’s driving kids to school, doing the laundry, or packing lunches – are far more satisfied than those in unequal relationships.
It’s not only about shared household responsibilities. In their 2018 Annual Letter, Bill & Melinda shared more on what true partnership means to them.
“It’s always been important to us that we are equal partners in our foundation’s work,” says Melinda. “We’ve learned over time to give each other feedback at home about times in the office when we didn’t meet that goal.”
Bill adds, “Because I’ve been a public figure longer, and because I’m a man, some people assume I am making the big decisions. That’s never been the case.”
As Melinda explains, “I love Bill because he has a kind heart, listens to other people, and lets himself be moved by what they say. When I tell a story about what I’ve seen, he feels it. He might ask me to gather some data for good measure. But he doesn’t doubt the reality of my experiences or the soundness of my judgment.”
- Genuinely listen to and value each other’s opinions
- Form a partnership in all that you do. Especially in the household.
Billionaire Power Couple #3
Richard Branson & Joan Templeman
Net Worth: $4.2 Billion
Love is a Safe Harbour
Although Joan doesn’t often speak publicly about their relationship, it’s clear that the entrepreneurial success Richard has achieved is a team effort.
Having spent 40 years with Joan by my side I have had the courage to do so many things others would deem impossible. I have been able to take risks – that have been fundamental to my success in business – which I probably wouldn’t have dared to make without Joan’s love.”
Richard also explains that it takes a certain kind of love to create this type of shared success.
“[Joan] has taught me that love shouldn’t just squeeze your heart, it should cradle it. It should prop you up, not bring you down. It should make you strong, not weak. The way I see it, love is a steadfast boat that allows you to make safe yet exciting passage across wild seas.”
- Trust, respect, and care creates a secure space
- A safe partnership helps you accomplish more in life
Billionaire Power Couple #4
Jay Z & Beyonce Knowles
Net Worth: $1.4 Billion
Challenges Grow You
As Hollywood’s favourite power couple, these two are no strangers to relationship struggle. But rather than hiding their challenges, they’ve triumphed and come through stronger.
The album Lemonade saw Beyoncé grapple openly with infidelity and her path to forgiveness. In 4:44 an apologetic Jay-Z took ownership of his mistakes and shortcomings as a husband. While Everything In Love saw the couple growing through their difficulties and celebrating their love.
By speaking so intimately through their music, Beyonce and Jay Z have helped lessen the stigma around infidelity. They’re normalising the strain that demanding careers and the tragedy of miscarriage put on relationships. And they demonstrate the power of seeking support.
In a vulnerable interview with David Letterman, Jay Z explains how they got through.
I have a beautiful wife who’s understanding and knew that I’m not the worst of what I’ve done. And we did the hard work of going to therapy. We love each other. We put in the work.”
As Beyonce explained to Vogue, the challenges you face in a relationship can help you thrive.
“Through it all I have learned to laugh and cry and grow. I look at the woman I was in my 20s and I see a young lady growing into confidence but intent on pleasing everyone around her. I now feel so much more beautiful, so much sexier, so much more interesting. And so much more powerful.”
- Challenges are normal and help make you stronger
- Ask for help when the going gets tough
Billionaire Power Couple #5
Warren Buffet & Astrid Menks
Net Worth: $88.8 Billion
While Astrid prefers not to give interviews, Warren Buffet often speaks on the importance of love. In a speech at the University of Georgia, he said:
If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is — your life is a disaster. That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life.”
Warren also encourages discernment when it comes to choosing a partner. In a panel interview with Bill Gates at Colombia University, he says:
“You will move in the direction of the people that you associate with. So it’s important to associate with people that are better than yourself. And the most important person by far in that respect is your spouse. I can’t overemphasize how important that is.”
The story of Warren’s first marriage to Susan Thompson also contains some profound wisdom: While relationships grow and change, you can carry their gifts long after you’ve separated.
Although Susan left the family home in 1977, her and Warren remained close friends. In fact they were still married when Susan passed away in 2004. It was Susan who introduced Warren to Astrid not long after they separated, and the three of them were apparently very close.
“Susie was really kind, considerate. She was the balancing force,” Warren explains in the documentary, Becoming Warren Buffett. “I was a lopsided person. And it took a while, but she just stood there with a little watering can and nourished me along and changed me… What happened with me would not have happened without her.”
- Relationships are what matter most in life
- They may change – or end completely, but that doesn’t make them a ‘failure’
And perhaps most beautiful of all are Warren’s reflections on love itself.
“It’s a very strange thing, love. You can’t get rid of it. If you give it out, you get more back. If you try to hang onto it, you lose it…. Love can come in many forms, and it doesn’t have to look a certain way. But ultimately, it’s the most important thing there is.”
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