Today, buckle yourself up to discover 5 hazards of business on your relationship (and what to do about them so that you won’t be another statistic.)
Visionary, creative entrepreneur, innovator, healer…I’ve got news for you:
You are especially susceptible to relationship difficulties.
In this post, I’m going to share why, and what to do about it.
It’s been said that entrepreneurs have higher divorce rates than the rest of the population. Here in the U.S. we’ve been hovering at a pretty steady 50% divorce rate, which is not encouraging for entrepreneurs if your divorce rate is even worse than that.
You may ask yourself:
Why even bother with romantic relationships?
Relationship difficulties are a problem for many reasons, some I imagine you think you are okay dealing with since you so value your independence and time alone, but there’s one reason that you would definitely not be cool with:
Your relationships are your greatest assets in business.
OK, of course. Your relationships with your clients, referral sources, network, colleagues, customers…that goes without saying, and these relationships are clearly integral to your success.
I’m talking more specifically about your romantic relationship.
Your romantic relationship, your greatest asset?? Say what?
Big claim here, I know.
But it’s based on decades of research about what makes us our best, happiest, most productive, most successful and healthiest.
Strong relationships always come out at the top of the list. And what can be as deadly to us as smoking, obesity or hypertension is loneliness.
While any kind of social support makes us happier, healthier and more successful, I believe you need more than just your business colleagues and associates to live your fullest life and to be the best you can be in your business or in any kind of endeavor.
The kind of 360-degree intimacy and emotional connection that we all need is what our romantic partnerships bring us.
I get it, these relationships often bring the most headaches with them as well, but when you discover new ways of connecting, genuinely and deeply, the headaches subside.
I know you cherish your alone time, I do too, but I hope this post will help you remember to also tend to your relationship as you do to your work in the world.
Part of the problem is that so many of us don’t.
We’re too busy, too far behind, too involved in the work that must get done…
And there’s more.
Visionaries and entrepreneurs are not susceptible to relationship problems simply because you are busy, but because of some hazards inherent in doing the work you love. (Being busy doesn’t help, which is why delegating and getting support in your business is so critical).
Be aware of these hazards, take efforts to prevent them from effecting you, and tend to your relationship. You’ll be surprised at how effective a little care taking can be.
Let’s dive into those hazards:
1. Your Personality
The things that make you amazing at what you do also make relationships a bit more difficult for you.
You like things your way, NO ONE tells you what to do, I’m sure you’re a smart, overachiever and may have some control issues.
To top that off, you like taking risks, more so than the average person, and that might make others a bit nervous, especially if they share a life with you.
You’re amazing as you are and these personality qualities make you who you are (and successful at that), but recognizing this might help give you some empathy for your partner who likely is not as driven or ambitious as you in the same ways.
2. Your Feelings About Your Work
You likely feel about your work similar to how you feel when you fall in love with someone:
Further, your work is your creation. You feed it with your energy, blood, sweat and maybe tears and it grows. You get paid and validated for that.
Sometimes, though you love it, it’s really hard work. You say, “that’s why they call it work,” and you give even more of yourself to it, feeling satisfied, and justified because you are bringing in the Benjamins and doing what’s needed to move it forward.
You might even stay up all night with your business at times.
Years after being with a significant other, that romantic obsession and ability to stay up all night talking with each other about absolutely nothing at all gives way to passing out with your toddlers at 9pm.
There’s nothing sexy about that…all that responsibility.
And while you have ample responsibility as a business owner, there’s something different, dare I say sexy, about the constant creation.
Further, it doesn’t talk back to you like your partner might, and you don’t wind up stuck in the same perpetual relationship pattern that you might be experiencing with your spouse.
Ultimately, even though owning your own business is an inherently risky thing, it feels way more safe than your relationship if you do not have the kind of full emotional intimacy, trust and connection that you need with your partner.
At this point, your business has the potential of becoming a 3rd party in your relationship, which is discussed below.
3. Your Business Becomes The Third Party In Your Relationship
When you love what you do, it is easy to get lost in it.
It also becomes easy to turn way from your partner and bury yourself in your work when you do not feel safe and comfortable at home.
As a result, you might feel like your spouse is holding you back, and like your business is holding your relationship back as well. Clearly this is a no win situation.
Until you address it head on.
Many people complain their partners are unsupportive of their business. This may be simply because the business sucks them dry, and the partner feels they are left with crumbs yet is unable to vulnerably express how they feel unimportant.
Instead, they come off as angry and unsupportive of your business.
Don’t get caught in the deadly cycle which goes like this:
If you ever worry that your spouse is holding you back in business, it could be because they feel neglected or secondary to the third party in your relationship that is your business.
We all need to feel like priorities to our partners to enjoy our most fulfilling relationships. Start treating your partner that way and you may start feeling that way yourself.
4. Money Money Money MONEY
This reason (your money mindset and financial stress in general) is a bit more commonly cited and more obvious as to why visionaries and entrepreneurs may experience more difficulties in relationships.
As discussed in point #1 about your personality, you are wildly different than the average bear when it comes to money.
You’re more tolerant of risk and your income may vastly fluctuate at times.
That’s part of the deal, and can be a tough pill to swallow for your partner.
Even though couples cite financial reasons as the #1 cause of divorce because so many get caught fighting about the money, I believe it’s NEVER purely about the money but about the strength of connection you have with your partner in the first place.
Money is a more loaded issue than most because we feel that it is about our security and survival. When we remember that our relationships are as well, we may be able to prioritize them over whatever stuck and differing attitudes we may be holding about the money.
5. Mindset Shifts + Grass Is Always Greener Mentality
I’ve cited reasons before why starting a business is better for you than therapy.
If you’re into personal growth and transformation (which I imagine you are as a visionary), entrepreneurship is quite appealing and is the path of ongoing transformation.
When you’re constantly changing, however, it can be hard to keep up in a relationship.
Countless entrepreneurs have felt like they were outgrowing their relationships.
Many others have outgrown their relationship.
The constant mindset shifts and your nature to be unsettled for anything but the best can be a double edge sword. It is what drives you toward excellence, but can also lead to a slippery slope “grass is always greener” mentality, one in which you’re always questing for more and never happy with what you have.
That can be extremely problematic for your relationship.
It can also be difficult to know if you’re truly outgrowing your relationship or if you are falling into the “grass is always greener” mentality that is ultimately detrimental.
If you’re worried about whether you are possibly outgrowing your relationship, here’s what to do.
It’s another common threat to relationships that being a visionary or entrepreneur brings to the table.
The Good News
You’ve been warned!
And now you can protect your relationship and your business against these hazards, because ultimately, what’s bad for one is bad for the other.
An unhealthy relationship is bad for business.
When you are fully supported and understood as the miracle that you are, and you enjoy a deep and fulfilling connection with your partner, you’ll not only live longer and be more healthy, but you will be that much more powerful in your business.
Let me know in the comments which of the above hazards you can relate to, and more importantly, what you’re going to do about it.
To your strongest relationships,
P.S. I was just featured on the amazing podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire with John Lee Dumas where I shared more about this issue.
Check it out here!