There are a few things that will strain a relationship more than starting a business. Some people naively go into business believing they can easily balance home life and business life, but that’s easier said than done. Getting a business off the ground is one of the most stressful and demanding experiences you’ll ever have.
During those critical first three to five years, there’s no such thing as balance. And that is why you often hear people refer to their business as “My Baby” — because they have to nurture it 24/7 in order for it to survive. In fact, I think it requires just as much time and energy as a real child, if not more!
And the person who needs to understand that more than anyone else is the significant other who will be asked to take a back seat to his or her partner’s dream. For some spouses it’s a welcome challenge; for others, it may as well be a summons to divorce court.
If one of the partners has been an entrepreneur, he or she will understand the demands it brings, such as out-of-town meetings, calls at all hours of the night, last-minute schedule changes with family, and, most importantly, constant networking. That means talking to strangers and passing out business cards nearly everywhere you go.
Entrepreneurs are rarely, if ever, off the clock. If your spouse is secure and sees your dream as being something that will benefit the family, they’ll be right beside you, hustling and pitching. But if they become insecure and jealous and begin to see every attractive person you talk to as a threat, watch out, things will begin to quickly unravel!
But let me be clear, you have a responsibility not to contribute to your partner’s insecurity. Too often entrepreneurs become consumed with making money and getting the next deal signed to the point of forgetting that there’s someone waiting at home who was responsible, in part, for them being successful in the first place.
And even if your partner is only playing a supportive role, they always want to be made to feel like a priority in your life, not the priority, but a priority. Although it may be difficult to keep a balance as a business owner, you should always try to make your partner feel special. If you can’t do that, then you shouldn’t be in a relationship in the first place.
– Michael Baisden