Is Entrepreneurship Compatible with a Happy Marriage?
Stephen Covey in his award winning book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, speaks about his belief that all success in life begins with relationships. Entrepreneurial women know life’s true meaning and purpose can, in fact, only be found in relationships. We are all on a lifetime journey where success is ultimately defined by, and anchored within, our relationships.
It is an oxymoron to think of someone having found true success in the absence of meaningful relationships. As a relationship expert who has worked with entrepreneurial women for decades, I assure you that people who have financial successful often find it rings hollow if they do not have other people to share in their success. Think about it: what good is all the money in the world if you do not have anyone to share it with?
As entrepreneurial women, we not only seek but also demand quality relationships within our lives. It is my sincere belief the female entrepreneurial spirit was borne out of our desire to create life/balance for ourselves and the ones we love. The expression “life/balance” seems redundant – the only way to live a purposeful life is in harmony and balance. As women, we seamlessly transition between the many different roles we have: i.e., entrepreneurial woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, etc, to name just a few.
For entrepreneurial women, the secret to happiness is not defined by the various roles we have but by successfully balancing them so we find individual happiness and fulfillment within each of them. Happiness and success in one area of our lives do not have to come at the expense of happiness and success in other areas of our lives. The false choice between success in our careers vs. happiness in our relationships (which often implies our marriages and family life) personifies the traditional corporate model women around the world are resoundingly rejecting, and this rejection is profoundly true for entrepreneurial women who’ve created a life of entrepreneurial success and happiness within our marriages and interpersonal relationships!
People who live a balanced life often speak of life having meaning and purpose. However, balance hardly ever means equal. Rather, balance is found in spending the appropriate amount of time and energy pursuing one role in our life without sacrificing the quality and commitment we have to the our other roles. Our lives cannot be balanced, however, if our spouse/significant other does not support our entrepreneurial efforts. My goal has been to show women how they can have it all – a thriving, profitable business, a supportive romantic relationship and healthy interpersonal relationships.
How to Predict Whether Your Marriage can Survive Your Business
Below are five key questions you must first ask yourself that will help you predict the compatibility between entrepreneurship and your marriage.
- Are you and your partner in a true partnership? Are you on the same team – sharing a common vision, purpose and goal for your life together?
- Do you and your partner share a mindset which creates a successful business and true partnership? Or does your partner’s mindset (or maybe even your own ) sabotage your entrepreneurial success?
- Are your financial, emotional and spiritual wants and needs similar enough to withstand the unpredictability entrepreneurship will bring into your lives?
- Is your partner cognizant of the sacrifices you may have to endure to make your business succeed, especially when your entrepreneurial business is in the start-up phase? These sacrifices include the time, resources and energy any start-up business requires before it makes even one dollar of profit.
- Is your communication within your relationship open and honest? You and your partner will need effective communication skills if you want your partner’s emotional support for your business.
In upcoming articles I am going to discuss, in detail, each of the above questions. The answers to these questions will collectively provide entrepreneurial women with all the relationship tools you will need for success in business and your marriage or other intimate relationship.
See also: Entrepreneurship and Marriage – a True Partnership? (This post takes a closer look at Question 1, above.)
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