Selecting the right person definitely impacts how much easier or how much more difficult your path will be as an entrepreneur. This took a little more time to write because I wanted to reflect back to how my life was before I decided to be an Entrepreneur compared to being an Entrepreneur now.
When I began my journey as an Entrepreneur, I was also beginning a new unexpected relationship, I’d moved to a new city and home, and my circle of friends had changed. At first I was focused more on the relationship than being a full time Entrepreneur. Once we became settled into a routine, I began to work more on my business thus, we weren’t spending as much time together doing relationship things. Out of no where it seemed like hell broke lose. As more time went by, we grew more distant, we constantly bombarded each other with arguments over small things and I found myself day dreaming about leaving the relationship. All we did was argue almost everyday, except when we were asleep.
A few months later, I didn’t know who we were anymore. We weren’t the same people we had started out being and I was questioning the choice I’d made. I was ready to give up and move on and had begun to plan my escape.
Side note: I had a full time job and I had fitness goals I wanted to meet which I was not dedicating my best towards. He also had a full time job and budding Entrepreneurship aspirations. Yet lingering in the background of our chaos was our relationship. More and more I could feel resentment brewing every time he would ask me to cook or watch a movie. Why couldn’t he see I was busy and really wanting to get things going for us? Besides he was an Entrepreneur with dreams and goals, too, so why didn’t he understand? We definitely seemed to have to same end goals, but that wasn’t going to be enough to save our relationship and ensure we would be successful Entrepreneurs.
How did we get here?
We were initially operating on the same page but when we stopped doing things as a couple, eventually we didn’t communicate as much. We would work late only to come home and work more on the businesses, we seemed to lose focus of one another.
(Hindsight) According to him, I had changed. He said I didn’t want to do the things we use to do because I was always busy texting, emailing, writing, posting on social media, and working outside of the house. Then when I wasn’t doing that, I was at the gym or asleep. Overall I had neglected him.
From my perspective, I had more to do than he did at that moment and my dreams were taking off. I was having to divide my time even more between work and building a solid business. He wanted our usual rituals to stay the same, but it was taking up time I wanted to use for building.
Slowly we were drifting apart.
The day finally came when we had to make a decision. Yet still, I was afraid I’d lose him but I was more afraid I’d lose myself if I didn’t follow my calling. Now let me state that being an Entrepreneur was the vessel I had chosen to take in following my purpose.
Here I was…….fed up. I’d paid for my business materials, websites, and I finally had a team to back me up. More importantly, I finally had the opportunity to do something and have mass media be a part of it. But lingering in the background was our relationship which was becoming toxic. More days were occurring where there was name calling, disrespect, stone walling, the silent treatment, blame and resentment between us. Yet when I peeled back the layers there stood the man I had vowed to love through sickness and in health, my life partner. What kind of woman would I be to go back on my word just to pursue my dreams? What kind of woman would I be to fail myself and never do what I was put here to do?
Something had to give and I wasn’t going to give up neither my relationship nor my dreams. I took a few days to own up to all the things I had become and determine wanted in life. I listed my own abilities and developmental needs and I listed what I wanted and needed from my relationship then I rated them in terms of how I felt. I drafted a plan of how I saw us working through things and what I needed to change within myself to make it happen.
Lastly I asked my partner, what do you need from me and how do we fix us? After I shared my findings, I asked him to make a decision and do a similar assessment as well. It took a few more days and every day things were still an emotional roller coaster while the business opportunities kept coming for both of us.
I stood in the bedroom doorway that morning of our decision day. I tried to be upset, but the moment I looked into his eyes I realized that I had so much to lose. We had a good relationship overall. We trusted each other, we slept peacefully at night and we were faithful and loyal. The love was mutual and the sex was amazing!
However, we had started to violate our relationship code to be authentic and honest but always be kind and careful with our words. So what did I do next?
I utilized a method I’d read about from Tony Robbins and how his girlfriend (at the time) would use “pattern interruption” to break up the tension. The basic definition of a “pattern interruption” [in laymen’s terms] is when the usual expected pattern is halted due to an unexpected occurrence and it creates a different energy and the person can’t help but laugh or release some, if not all of the tension.
For instance, he was expecting me to say “Can we talk?”, so he took a huge sigh and turned his head back to what he was doing. Instead of my usual “Let me tell you how I feel” monologue, I walked into our closet and grabbed the biggest goofy looking bag I could find and I placed it on my head and stood directly in front of him with a pouty face. He tried to hold on to being annoyed but ended up busting into laughter and I fell on him and we hugged….tightly. That evening we were able to express our relationship concerns and address what being a dual entrepreneur household looked like for us. A few days later we shared notecards, lists and goals to ensure we were still aligned and on track.
Over a year later we are in one of the best emotional places a couple could be and we were actively pursuing our personal goals and dreams, and our goals and dreams as a couple. Needless to say, we’re still together.
All of this lead me to create this article:
Dual Entrepreneur Households: How to Keep From Going NUTS!
If you think having one Entrepreneur in the house is a challenge, imagine having two Entrepreneurs in the same household! How do they make it work for their passions, their family and each other all while keeping their sanity? Let’s find out!
All the money in the world cannot create a sanctuary of peace for anyone. Only the two people involved in the relationship can lay a foundation of love, mutual respect and understanding for each other while supporting each other’s Entrepreneurial path.
In general, in our society, relationships seem to have the kiss of death upon them before they start. Statistics say over 50% of all marriages end in divorce, even if the couple waits until they are older and more stable to marry. Then we are plagued with infidelity, non-committal relationships where no one is really held accountable, single parent households, or both parents being out of the home and the children being left at home alone and raised by the media (TV/Internet).
Entrepreneurs face those challenges and more because they have to add strategic time management and creative thinking on both sides of the equation when making time for each other in order to build the relationship, operate the family, raise the children and take the puppy outside for a potty break. They also have to learn how to mentally shut down from always talking about work especially to each other so they can get back to the things which brought them together in the first place. Ok, maybe it was work which brought them together, but when they entered into the relationship, it was to have someone to build a life with or to spend time with outside of work.
Let’s look at some amazing facts of being a dual entrepreneur household
* Couples having more in common
* Higher self-esteem
* Greater financial opportunities are available
* Flexibility in schedules
* Earning income doing what you love
* More control in keeping your livelihood where you want it to be
* Upgraded lifestyle
* Control of time
* Better education options for [future] children
* Better health care options and ability to pay for it
* More cultural and various lifestyle experiences through travel
And here are some things that can be a challenge for dual entrepreneur households
* There’s always “too much” to do
* Child care or pet care issues
* Feeling guilty
* Stress and Fatigue
* No time for self
* Loss of the relationship
* No time for each other
* Less sex
* Fear of losing job while building your business
* Working moms seen as the “bad guy.’ (if children are involved)
* Women tend to feel more resentful because of unequal balance in household operations
* More financial stress
* Not being available for children
Now that you’ve had a chance to read my story and perhaps reflect on your own, I’m going to share a few things which helped us get to a place of emotional stability and balance.
Always put the relationship at the top of the list and set boundaries on how to handle disagreements
This is cliché but it still works. When two people are driven, creative, and sure about their path, it can be a difficult choice to make as to who will give up what and what to give up. To over come this, take some time and ask each other, “What does a life with us as Entrepreneurs look like?” You may find that you sync well or not at all. And if the relationship is where you want to be, here are a few tips you can implement immediately for immediate results or to start the conversation of bringing balance back into the home.
– Remember why you got together in the first place and go back to when it was good. One of the things we did was designate a space in our home for calling a truce. We would sit at the top of the steps near our bedroom. When we met at the steps, it was our way of calling a “cease fire”, and we would express our feelings good or not so good and no one was judged. We also would reaffirm our love for one another and commitment to reaching our dreams and goals together. Consider finding a neutral spot where you can simply talk and also actively listen.
– Create a standing date once a week or several times a month where that time is only for you and your mate. Consider having a breakfast date or weekday/midday date, walks in the park or a movie night. During your “standing time”, turn the phones off and disengage from work and connect with each other. If you have children, do this with them also but not on your “standing date”.
– Throughout the week, send cute text messages, emails, or leave other hints around the house. Ladies, if you wear make-up, leave a lipstick note on the mirror. Fellas, pick up some flowers or arrange to have her favorite food delivered to her work-site. Do little things for one another to remind each other that the relationship is first.
– And lastly make time for sex……period. Anytime. Anywhere. As much as possible.
No matter how far you are or what you’re doing, your mate should know you’re the first thing on his/her mind.
Establish the roles
Someone has to pay the bills and feed the dog. Someone has to maintain the upkeep of the home. Decide who will do what. Consider leaving out “gender” defining roles” if you want to be successful as a team or go further. For instance, traditionally, the woman cooks and cleans. However, today many women are becoming entrepreneurs and the man is at home more often. Flip the script and pick up the slack where your partner may have to leave off due to work, instead of waiting for him to return.
– Create a “To-Do” List and assign which one of you will handle certain items.
– Establish a communication ritual for checking in with each other to remind you of what needs to be done or help out when your time is free. This “to-do” list can include household chores, travel arrangements and planning dates. If you have taken on a role that needs to change due to circumstances on the job or in life, then communicate early and often and figure out how to compromise and make it work.
Ask each other for help and get some help
This is not your mother’s generation in which the woman was expected to maintain the home and work outside of the home. There are many services for hire from ride-sharing to house-hold cleaning. Take advantage of these services often. The goal is to free up time for one another.
– Hire a pet sitter and or a dog walker
– Hire a baby sitter.
– Hire a housekeeper for light house cleaning maintenance periodically
– Schedule a day in your week to take time off to handling things for your family, if hiring isn’t an option or if you simply want to reconnect to your home.
Be honest about what you expect
What does life look like with both of you as Entrepreneurs? Did you come into this already established as Entrepreneurs? Is this a path you both are ready to take and at the same time?
Make sure you and your partner know what the other person needs and wants. Be honest upfront about things because as time goes by it won’t get easier to change or do differently. Check-in routinely with each other and ask “Are you happy?” or “What can I do to make it better?” Not only does it keep you apprised of things brewing, it also shows your partner you genuinely love him or her and their well-being is the upmost important to you.
The end goal of all of this is to become successful and keep your sanity and your relationship intact. There are more things than I listed which can be implemented. Draft a few things of your own and test them out. At the end of the day, this will pass and you will be at another stage in life and in business. Cherish these moments and build your dreams together and that’s the bottom line.