@@Flat out, I have no idea how my wife puts up with me!@@ No, really! I’m not just saying it. It’s the truth. Here’s why: I am an entrepreneur. I’ve been that way since high school, and it’s taken me a long time just to admit that that’s who I am. My wife, on the other hand, is not an entrepreneur. And I don’t say this as a bad thing. My wife is down to earth, level headed, and very careful about decisions. Me…not so much. I always have the latest greatest newest idea that’s going to the change the world. I’m always first to adopt a new app or technology and then try to implement it to save ten minutes a day. My wife…ahh…not so much.
The 18-month struggle. Over the last 18 months, our relationship has found some major bumping roads. My company, Groovebox Studios ran into some snags when the market changed, and it forced my team and me back underground to regroup and refocus. That time, while good for a start-up (mostly) can be a real home-wrecker. In these last 18 months, the emotional and financial struggles brought out emotions, feelings, and insecurities that our previous years of dating and married life didn’t show. I have been told that I am the "over-the-top optimist" in the house, and I see everything as a good thing. Feelings which had been sequestered had occasion to arise and be dealt with between us. I also think that with great ideas and great relationships alike there is typically a long stretch of “bad” before things turn around to show you exactly who you are. Right now personally, it feels like the ship has been righted. A new business venture has been formed—Woodshed Agency. Clients are knocking on our door to work with us. Cash flow is turning to the positive instead of the negative (always a good thing), and the sense of balance in the home is starting to come together. Before I give you my 5 Things to Consider for Entrepreneurs and Their Spouses to Have a Healthy Marriage, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a second to say thanks to my wife for putting up with all my wackiness. So Erin here it is—Thanks for everything! Now, on to the list.
1. @@Your dedication is a double-edged sword.@@
At first, your partner will be impressed and amazed. “Wow,” he or she will think, “The love of my life is so passionate!” But sooner or later he or she will discover that your drive cuts into the time you spend together. You shouldn’t have to compete for attention, but that’s the reality of the situation. Please, do your partner a favor, and respect how precious your time with your family is. You need them as much as you need your business to succeed. Try your best to strike a balance.
2. Your emotions will get the best of you.
At times, I’ve felt so strongly about something that I’ve become irrational. The stress of trying to make it can become overwhelming. You may feel like it’s you against the world. But it’s not really like that. Your family is on your team. Don’t freak out at them.
3. Sometimes, your spouse will know what you need more than you do.
I would work 24 hours a day if I could! OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. Erin does her best to make sure that doesn’t happen. She helps me break up my routine by scheduling time off, because she knows I need to recharge my batteries. I forget that I do some of my best work when I’m not working and my head is clear.
4. Accounting for lean times is essential.
Financial planning is frequently a source of tension for couples even when both partners have a steady paycheck. Work together to create a safety net to alleviate some anxiety.
5. Maintaining other interests will help keep you both sane.
Believe it or not, the world doesn’t revolve around you. Knowing that hasn’t been able to prevent me from acting like it does sometimes though. Your business might be exciting to you, but talking about it nonstop will get old for others. So make sure to find and hold on to other things you and your partner enjoy doing together.
Looking back, my wife took a big risk, as big of a risk as any entrepreneur can take, when she decided to marry me -- and for that I couldn’t be more thankful!