They say running a business with family can bring a unique set of challenges. Running a business with a spouse can be playing with fire. But running a business with an ex-spouse? Well, that’s just par for the course for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his ex-wife and business partner Dany Garcia.
The duo shocked the sporting world earlier this year by teaming up on a bid with RedBird Capital Partners to buy the XFL out of bankruptcy after the pandemic forced the NFL-challenger league to wind down operations.
The fact that the duo was able to scoop up the beloved brand that WWE founder Vince McMahon had poured hundreds of millions of dollars into over two separate attempts in 2001 and 2020 to challenge the NFL’s monopoly on pro football for a price tag of just over $15 million was surprising by itself. The fact that the two ex-spouses were doing so together added another layer of surprise, but perhaps only to those that weren’t aware of the years-long professional relationship the two have shared since their split after more than a decade of marriage in 2008.
“For Dwayne and I, it's actually not difficult,” Garcia, who also co-founded Seven Bucks Productions, the production company behind Johnson’s more notable films, told Yahoo Finance in a taped interview for Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit.
The secret behind driving the success that has stemmed from Garcia taking over as Johnson’s manager at around the same time they were getting divorced, Garcia said, boils down to a key shift anyone working around personal relationships should make.
“First of all, you have to have respect,” she said. “Like, you have to agree there is no going forward, if you're going to carry what didn't work with you... if the answer is yes and you have respect, you actually can do it.”
Of course, over more than a decade of working together since their divorce, Garcia said the duo’s professional relationship has evolved and grown quite a bit to get to where it is today as the XFL plans for yet another launch in 2022. After respect, Garcia credits the ability to grow and change personally as another prerequisite to making it all work.
“Know you have to change,” she explained. “I think people don't recognize how much they need to grow and change. If you do that, you can do anything.”
For more on the XFL’s plans for its 2022 relaunch, tune in to Dany Garcia’s full interview at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: A Road to Recovery on Monday, October 26 beginning at 9 a.m. EST.