This isn't something that I thought I would talk about on this blog, but it may be of interest to other entrepreneurs in the same position. In reading this blog, you may have picked up on the fact that I'm not single. That's right, I'm married… sorry ladies. In fact, I even have two great kids ages 1 and 2 (almost 3).
It seems that most of the budding entrepreneurs out there are single males. Not many that I've seen are in a committed relationship. This may be a benefit if you are spending all of your time working on your startup and devoting no time to social pursuits. However, I think there are benefits to being in a committed relationship as well. I also believe that my accomplishments would be less fulfilling if I didn't have someone to share them with. This entry is about the benefits of starting a company while in a committed relationship.
My suggestion to all entrepreneurs in a committed relationship is to involve your partner in some way. Your partner can be your greatest strength while on this very hard road you've chosen. Even if it is as simple as talking with them at the end of a long day about what you accomplished or what frustrations you encountered. Can they join the site? Let them be one of the first to join and contribute. Encourage them to be your biggest cheerleader. Often that encouragement is all you need to get a second wind.
When you are working long hours trying to build your company it is easy to forget that you must also spend time building your relationship. Just because you are committed doesn't mean the work ends there. That's like thinking that as soon as you get funding it will be smooth sailing. Really, the work has just begun at both of those points.
I have definitely been guilty of neglecting my family at times. However, I make a conscious effort to take time out to spend with them. It might be as simple as taking a walk before dinner, which we've been trying to do. Recently, I took a half day to go to a train park in Scottsdale. It was a great time, but in the back of my mind I knew I was missing out on six hours that I could be working. Ultimately, this time is definitely worth spending.
My wife has been very supportive through this process. Scared? Yes, but supportive, too. She has really helped to ground me so I don't get my head too far in the clouds. I know that I can always bounce ideas off her and get an honest, sometimes brutally so, opinion. She helps me through the hard, depressing times and she is also there for the happy, celebratory times. When I launched the first alpha, she even made chocolate cupcakes with little computers on them so we could celebrate after dinner.
I think it all comes down to what is important in life. Building a great company is a great goal, but if you don't have people to share your success with, then does it really mean anything? For me, the most important and rewarding aspect of this journey is sharing it with my family. I hope that the coming year will allow me to share even more success with them!
I hope your new year will bring you happiness and success, too.
Anyone else out there starting a company while in a relationship? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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