Being an entrepreneur can be an emotional journey filled with ups and downs. Sure, if we keep our ultimate goal in mind we find a way to keep pushing and make things happen, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Sometimes pursuing the entrepreneurial dream can be so challenging, the stress from it can begin to leak into other areas of our lives. And when we are under a great deal of stress, who has to deal with our ups and downs the most? Our spouse, of course.
But does being an entrepreneur mean that your marriage has to suffer? I don’t believe so. I think there is a way to put in the hours, make your dreams come true, and have your marriage thrive. And to take things one step further, there are things you can do to help your marriage and business grow simultaneously. We live in world that’s about choices, but choosing to be an entrepreneur does not mean that you are putting your dreams before your marriage. Rather, it means that you value yourself and your marriage enough to pursue your dreams because you know the unfortunate reality you will face if you grow old without reaching your true potential.
A happy marriage and a successful business are both noble pursuits, and trying to make both happen at the same time comes with challenges. I strongly believe, however, that it is very possible. I refuse to believe the hype that tells us something of value has to suffer for us to reach great heights with something else we value. I don’t want you to believe the hype either.
Here are 3 tips to help you reach great heights while growing your business and your marriage.
Your health and your marriage must always come first.
Trying to build an empire while your spouse is pissed off and your health is suffering is just too much drama for me. I think your health must be a priority no matter what you pursue in life. If you are overweight while suffering with hypertension, joint problems, and pre-diabetes—and you are doing nothing about it—you can’t be surprised when your business and your marriage begin to fail. Start with self-care.
Once you have that under control, remember that you made a commitment before God to stand by your spouse. You can’t ignore that commitment for the sake of your entrepreneurial dreams. Sure, you need to discuss expectations and what the next few years of your life may look like, but the commitment you made must always take priority. Your spouse is there to provide support, something you need in a major way when establishing a business. If you neglect your support system, they may ultimately neglect you. That is a risk you don’t want to take.
Communication is essential.
Creating a calendar about your business commitments and sharing it with your spouse is a great way to keep them in the loop about what your year will look like and what they should expect. Sure, there may be changes, but that’s okay. What never works well is telling your spouse last minute that you need to head out of town for a 3-day conference. Your spouse and your children still need you to play an active role in their lives, so allowing them to prepare for your absence by sharing your commitments is critical.
To the extent that your can, make your business commitments revolve around your family—and when you can’t, talk to your spouse about it and clearly communicate the importance of pursuing an opportunity that may interfere with a family commitment. They may not be pleased with the news, but they will surely appreciate the conversation and they will also understand why you need to do it.
Sometimes being understood and appreciated it far more important than having someone be pleased with what you have to do. Developing superb communication skills helps your marriage grow and those same skills can also help you grow your business.
Recruit help when you need it.
The “doing it all yourself “mentality is played out and it won’t do you or your family any good. If you haven’t spent quality time with your family in a bit because of your business commitments, should you really spend half of your Saturday mowing the lawn? Is it possible to invest some of the money from your business into hiring someone so you can spend time with your family that day?
Or, are your spending hours and hours doing low-level tasks for your business when you could hire a virtual assistant to help, allowing you to spend your time working on high-level tasks that can help your business grow? From virtual assistants, to babysitters, to a cleaning service—think about what you can do to get more people helping you build your empire. It will help your business grow, reduce your stress level, and help your marriage grow in ways you never even imagined.
What are some other tips you have to help others become happily married entrepreneurs?