If you knew that the birth of your company would also be the death of your marriage, would you still start your business?
Most entrepreneurs have not considered this question as they begin the long road of building their businesses. As a result, their marriages often take a massive hit. There is a reason for this.
There is an abundance of information available on how to start a business. As a result you feel prepared for the amount of time that is going to be required, to face the rejection and to push through when you feel like your back is up against the wall.
However, there is very little information that prepares you for the toll it will take on your loved ones. My goal in this column is to share my experience launching a business, to get vulnerable and share the toll it has taken on my marriage. You can listen to my wife’s take on how this has affected our marriage below.
Here are five ways you can make sure starting your business doesn’t end your marriage:
1. Share your vision.
Sit down with your spouse and share your vision with him or her. Help him or her understand why you feel compelled to start this company and what the future will look like when you are successful. Your goal here is to make sure your spouse is tied to your vision. This will be vital when you are less available and there is added stress on the relationship.
2. Set realistic expectations.
This is where you cannot hold back. You have to help them understand what the road ahead looks like.
Will you have to cut back on your spending to underwrite this venture? Will your weekends suddenly be filled with more work and less play? Will they be going to sleep and waking up alone since you will be burning the candle at both ends trying to get the company off the ground?
Paint a picture of what lies ahead and make sure they are prepared and agree with you moving forward.
3. Set a weekly meeting.
If you were to look at your calendar right now, I bet you would find a number of appointments scheduled with customers. While meeting with these people are important, most people do not have scheduled appointments with the most important person in their lives: their spouses.
As I scaled my podcast, The Mentee, into a business, my days were long and I did not block any time for my family. This was catastrophic to my relationship with my wife. I then had a conversation with John Assaraf, who helped me change the way I looked at my relationship with my wife.
I sought out his mentorship because he has a thriving business and a thriving marriage and I wanted to know what his secrets were. He told me that he and Maria have a standing 90-minute meeting every Saturday to discuss their relationship, where they get everything out on the table: finances, business, sex, God, children, ex-wives -- nothing gets left unsaid.
Amy and I started to implement these and have found that truly investing in your relationship each week has a tremendous effect on your ability to be the best partner possible.
When you speak with your spouse, pull out your calendars and schedule a meeting for this week. Then, post in the comments below the power this had on your relationship so you can inspire others to do the same.
4. Remember, you’re in the same boat.
While a weekly meeting will work wonders for your relationship, there will still be times when you your spouse is frustrated at your lack of presence and a fight ensues.
In that moment, recognize that you’re in the same boat and need to be paddling in the same direction. Instead of saying “Screw you! Do you know how hard I’m working?” take a step back and recognize he or she is asking you to jump. Your response needs to be “How high?”
The faster you adopt a mindset that there is enough time in a day and “how can I go above and beyond to support you,” you will find an abundance of support flowing back to you. Try this. It really does work!
5. Celebrate small wins together.
When you accomplish small milestones along the way, make sure you celebrate and give credit where credit is due. You would not be able to launch your business and maintain your sanity if your other half was not supporting you. This is their win just as much as it is yours. Make sure they feel that way!
At the end of the day, remember why you are going down this road. If you are like many of the entrepreneurs, it is because you want to provide a better life for your family and make a difference. If you implement what you’ve read here today, it could truly help your marriage. If that’s the case, this time could be one of the best investments you ever make.