As if romantic relationships aren’t challenging enough on their own for an average couple. It’s the complexities of life added in the mix that can really push even the strongest relationships to the limit, and the entrepreneur knows only too well about these struggles… with a unique twist.
Read on to learn actionable strategies you can use to rekindle the fire in your relationships, while balancing them with your work along the way.
Growing together builds strong roots
An entrepreneur’s relationship is little different than the right combination of good soil, sunshine, and water for growing a tree. The formula for any relationship is a magic mixture of support, appreciation and understanding on a deep level, or it will not grow and flourish.
Support is especially important for this distinct breed of relationship, however. After all, your partner will not feel important to you if you invest more time and energy into your business than into your bond with each other.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been married to an entrepreneur for several decades, and understand the kind of support that’s a dire necessity for both the business as well as the relationship itself to thrive. Being an entrepreneur as well, I have a unique perspective on both sides of being married to an entrepreneur.
I recently encountered a client who has a very successful start-up in the medical industry who came to me because of his struggling marriage. Let’s call them something simple enough to remember; from here on out, we’ll refer to them as the Smiths.
While I was able to pinpoint that this couple has several issues, we realized that the wife was harboring resentment. The entrepreneur’s unique personality trait of relentless and intense dedication to his goals was more than she could take.
Creating monthly “check-in” dates keeps the air clear
Very often entrepreneurs work long hours while the spouse is typically picking up the slack with mundane duties of the house and the family as well as working a full-time job while in the start-up phase.
The pie in the sky that every entrepreneur wants of financial and personal freedom to do what they want makes them drive themselves to work extremely hard. The reality is that many entrepreneurs miss anniversaries and special events as well as being oblivious to the spouses needs of their spouse.
Monthly “check-ins” are a fantastic way for the couple to take their relationship seriously. Schedule a date “away from it all” but treat it like a fun business meeting. Take notes and write down the concerns of your spouse once a month and work towards improving the relationship. Keeping thoughts and feelings bottled up only lead to frustration and unnecessary resentment.
Appreciation solidifies the bond
Who doesn’t want to be appreciated for the hard work, dedication and commitment that they provide? Both of the people in the relationship are working towards a single goal. They each are dedicated and committed to the dream, but everything will fall apart if they are falling out of sync with love. Or are they?
The Smiths, the couple that I mentioned earlier discovered that they were playing at the Elementary level in their relationship. What this means is, they were not practicing love at the highest level. The following are the three levels of love that we as humans practice regularly.
- We can love only when it suits us. (The lowest level of love)
- We can trade love only if we get something out of it.
- We can love someone and support them unconditionally. (The highest level of love)
Imagine the love that a parent feels for a child, it is unconditional even though they dropped your cell phone in the toilet. This is the kind of love that a couple needs to have if they want to embrace the bonds of their relationship on a deep, loving level in spite of the tremendous demands of the business.
Too much work makes Jack a dull boy
So you’re a millionaire and your start-up is successful, congratulations on making your dreams come true! Wait just a second, Mr. Smith told me that he missed his anniversary and doesn’t have time to do anything fun with his wife nor does he do any of the hobbies that he once found fun and relaxing.
We entrepreneurs love reading success stories of how someone with a dream made it a reality don’t we? What the public doesn’t hear about very much is how their personal life and health fell apart.
That’s when I get the call. Take my advice, don’t be Mr. Smith. Your dream life has more components in it than just making a million dollars. You need to focus on the important people in your life and make your health a PRIORITY. Here are some reminders for a better quality of life.
- Plan more dates.
- Get to the gym more often.
- Make a commitment to be at important family events.
Having an “affair” with your business isn’t sexy
She use to call it his “one-eyed girlfriend”. That was the name she gave his computer. “YO! YO!” he’d joke as he entered his office.”I’m right here, baby!” In the beginning, it was a joke. Mr. Smith was SO busy having an affair with his PC, spending countless hours staring deep into her eye until the wee hours of the morning.
Mrs. Smith didn’t find that too sexy. Over time, it became a habit. We humans so easily fall into habits, don’t we? Mr. Smith acted as though he thought that the business would fall apart if he didn’t devote endless hours into it.
What was falling apart instead was his relationship. He’s taking the cue now. He realizes that his habits of CHOOSING to work long hours are not helping his romantic life.
Creating habits to push through to success as an entrepreneur are the very same characteristics that will help your relationships. Find the right balance and you will truly reach your dreams of happiness in your business and your romantic relationships.