You know building a successful business takes a lot of time and energy and so does building a successful relationship. Can entrepreneurs have both? Yes, say two relationship experts we spoke to, it just takes a little planning and persistence.
"Entrepreneurs wear many hats," says Barbie Adler, president of Selective Search, a Chicago-based matchmaking service with clients nationwide and abroad. "If your personal life is important to you, treat it like [an] appointment and carve out time to date." Here are six tips for single entrepreneurs looking for a (life, not business) partner:
1. Let friends/family know you're available.
"Recruit a team of promoters who will network for you," suggests Stephanie Ginsberg, a New York-based relationship coach and advice expert. "People genuinely like to be helpful -- plant the seed in people's minds that you're available." Ask friends, family and colleagues for recommendations. Doing so is more effective and less time consuming than online dating where you don't know if people are who they represent themselves as, Ginsberg says.
2. Know when to outsource.
"All successful people know the importance of outsourcing," Ginsberg says. "You need to invest time and energy into finding the right representation for you." Make sure any dating company you join has access to your ideal match. For example, if you're looking for someone who's educated and successful, make sure they have access to those people. Your representatives need to know your values and relationship goals so before you sign up for a service, find out how they work and what their screening process is.
3. Develop a business plan.
You created a business plan for your company. Adler suggests creating a business plan for your personal life too. You want to be the best version of yourself, Adler says. Ask yourself what your goals are and how you will achieve them. What are you looking for? Are you ready to date?
4. Have the right mindset.
Embrace the fact that your search for Mr. or Ms. Right is an investment of both time and probably money. It took time for your business to grow to where it is now, notes Ginsberg. Relationships are the same way. Also understand that "the One" could be anywhere, she says. "Be present as you go throughout your day," she says. "Most people meet their significant others when they're out and about living their life. If you're always wearing your business hat, you may miss out on opportunities," Ginsberg says.
5. Clear the clutter.
In other words, don't waste your time with incompatible people, Adler says. When you're hiring for your business, you pay attention to how someone fits into your corporate culture. In dating, you could be attracted to someone, but their priorities may be different or they don't share the same goals, Adler notes. When you're growing your business, you become focused on that, and dating falls into the "comfort zone," Ginsberg says. You may stay in a relationship because it's familiar, even though you know it's not going anywhere. Ginsberg suggests "clearing the clutter" of these incompatible relationships to make space for a good match to come into your life.
6. Trust your gut.
Does your date like you for you or for your money? There are ways to find that out without actually coming out and asking, Adler says. She suggests asking how they've celebrated birthdays in the past to get a sense of what's important to them. But be sure not to interview your date or treat them like an employee, she cautions. "A person looking to date for money won't be looking to develop a deeper connection," Ginsberg says.
Be prepared to strategically share information about your values and interests. Are they training for a marathon or building a business? Do they have passions or interests of their own? If family values are important to you, share a story about that and see how your date responds. If they haven't talked to their family in years, that may be a yellow flag.
Related: Launching With a Loved One? Five Lessons From Successful Startup Couples