Life is not only about how much time we have, it’s also about how much time we make. We make time for the people and things that we love. Who and what we choose to allocate our time to and for is usually negotiable. When it comes to learning how to balance entrepreneurship and romance, it’s no different. Both entrepreneurship and romance require belief, courage, desire, discipline, love, passion, and a burning will to want to achieve a blissful and harmonious relationship.
Thanks to the advice from a handful of successful entrepreneurs, here are 12 smart strategies to help you learn how to better balance romance and entrepreneurship:
1. Involve your spouse from the very beginning.
“My husband and I meet up every Sunday night to brainstorm our respective startups. We are invested emotionally in each other’s businesses and so when times are tough, the other person understands when personal sacrifices have to be made that would impact the other person.”
2. Lean on those you love during hard times.
“I chose the entrepreneurial path for 3 reasons: love, family, and financial freedom. As [is the case with] every business owner, my entrepreneurial path was not easy, especially when the real estate bubble in September 2008 knocked around 75% off my heavily leveraged real estate portfolio and essentially wiped out my pre-construction projects. But I am a resourceful person, and even if I was back to square one I managed to pull myself together and recovered from the financial crisis with the help of my loved ones.”
3. Prioritize those you love on your schedule.
“What you put on your calendar gets done. For busy entrepreneurs it is crucial to pencil time for your love life just like you do [for] your career. Putting date night on your calendar reminds your brain [that] this is a priority and decreases your chances of flaking, even if it’s just watching Scandal together while eating Chinese [food]. The added perk is loving relationships spark creativity and those feel-good endorphins for when you return to building your business.”
4. Appreciate people that genuinely care about you.
“It’s easy to budget all your time towards growing your business. That’s when you’ll start getting angry at people trying to do nice things for you; they’re taking away from your growth time. It’s important to appreciate the people that genuinely care about you, and to budget time specifically for them just like you would a client.”
5. Play games.
“Consider playing a GPS game. One partner enters a destination that only he or she knows into the GPS and the other drives there. It’s fun, exciting, and romantic.”
6. Know when to stop working and focus on your partner.
“It’s so easy to work 24-7 when you’re building a business, but the whole point (for me) of working for myself is having the freedom to choose which hours of the day belong to my clients and which [hours] belong to me. I try to stop early enough that I can make dinner for the man I love and focus on enjoying it with him.”
7. Communication challenges and victories.
“It’s important to clue your significant other in on any challenges and victories you may be experiencing in your business; it will help explain any swift changes in your mood or behavior, which only protects your relationship and presents opportunity to show support for each other. If you truly care about making your relationship last, spending quality time is key.”
8. Strengthen your relationships.
“There will always be more that can be done for your startup or business, but life also goes on outside of that. My husband and I regularly establish a list of objectives to complete, and after that we fill in extra time with family time to strengthen our relationship as well as our bond with our young daughter. When we are really busy we take a few minutes to do something fun and create a memory, and then it’s back to work!”
9. Develop small and consistent habits with your partner.
“Find a minimum of three things that you like to do with your significant other and make time to do those things as much as possible. Have a date night every week; don’t ever bump it. Do something for them at least once a month that requires your full attention, no phone, no tablet, no distractions. Keep small habits that you can share together.”
10. Be fun and romantic to make up for lost time.
“[My] situation is a bit more complex since we both work together, so we need to make romance a priority. To do this we try to devote dinner and the rest of the evening afterwards on us, whether we are having date night or TV night. Of course there are days when this can’t happen, but we always try to add fun to our romance.”
11. Be totally transparent.
“There may be times where you have to deal with different groups of people. Some may be from your past, but as long as you stay transparent with your partner and communicate everything it will provide a healthy balance.”
12. Focus and include your partner.
“Balancing a relationship with entrepreneurship is tricky, but they both require focus. Finding a way to include my partner in decisions about my company so they feel a sense of inclusion is important and I always remind my partner that my financial independence is due to the risk and time commitment of running my own business.”
Entrepreneur Launch Pad suggests, “Don’t underestimate the toll that emotional stress takes on your physical health and your ability to concentrate on your work or enjoy time with your family. Make sure you make time for the important people and events in your life. Your business will still be there tomorrow or next week.”