It’s easier than ever to be an entrepreneur these days, as there are niches for just about every interest. The Internet and social media helps us stay connected like never before. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to get a new business off the ground, until you get it going and things start happening. Some have even quit their day jobs to spend all their time on their new business. For some others, their startup soon becomes their whole life. That is, unless you’re married. Then, everything changes.
It’s not just you in the picture now—everything you do is affecting the life of someone else, someone you love deeply. When you are running a startup and are married, you are really trying to juggle the two biggest passions in your life. Just how does marriage affect an entrepreneur who is running a startup? Here are 4 main ways:
You Have to Balance Your Time Differently.
A single person running a business really can spend all their time devoted to their business. They could sleep at the office if they wanted to. But if you’re married, that’s not an option. When you have another person counting on you, then you need to balance your time.
The question is, how much time should you devote to the business and how much should you devote to your marriage? There is no one rule that works for everyone. The important thing is finding what works for your relationship. Make sure there is plenty of quality time you can spend connecting, and also just down time where you spend relaxing together.
The best thing to do would be to schedule specific times to make sure you definitely get that one-on-one time in with your spouse. Date nights, dinner together, going on walks, just sitting around at home, etc. The other thing to remember is that needs constantly change, so keep the discussion open and change as necessary.
When You’re Home, You Have to Really Be Home.
When you’re in the middle of starting a business, it can be hard to pull your head up and notice anything else that is going on in the world. You probably live and breathe your start up 24/7. But when you’re married, that just won’t work. Your spouse is important, too. Their feelings and interests need to be on the same level as your business.
It’s not just enough to schedule time with your spouse and show up. You have to show you really care. Turn off your phone and laptop! Be face to face with your spouse. Really listen to your spouse when they tell you about their day and talk about their concerns. When you are home really be home. While a big majority of your day may revolve around your business, be sure to shut that down before your spouse time, so that you can devote your time and attention to perhaps doing something your spouse wants to do. That way your spouse knows that they are just as important as your startup.
You Need to Give Your Spouse a Say in the Business.
Even though it may be your business, when you are married, your spouse should be able to offer their two cents on some of the major decisions. These could be on matters such as where the business is to be located, the story behind the brand, whether or not to hire a particular person, and anything else that could have a big impact on the business.
That’s because everything that happens with the business-the good and the bad—has a direct affect on the marriage. When business is good, then you’re happy and perhaps more able to spend time away from the business. But when business is bad, then you will likely be down and even stressed about the future. While your spouse may not be involved in the little day to day decisions, definitely the big stuff should be run past them for their input. Also invite your spouse to big meetings or presentations or celebrations so they can feel like they are part of the business. It’s up to the two of you to define exactly how much of a role your spouse should play in the business—be sure to iron out those details.
You Must Ask for Leniency From Your Spouse.
This can only work if your spouse is understanding and realizes that along the way, you’re going to make mistakes. You’ve never run this particular business before, and so you’re learning as you go. If you can relay that information to your spouse and ask for them to understand, then you can start to forge a partnership that can withstand the pressures and demands of being an entrepreneur. While you will try to do it all on your own, you don’t really have to. Be there for your spouse to lean on, and then lean on your spouse when times are tough. It may be the very thing your business and marriage needs.
So, it may get challenging at times to juggle both business and marriage but no one said it’s impossible.