How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur Without Sabotaging Your Personal Relationships
"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."
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Businesses require as much time and effort as personal relationships, but most entrepreneurs focus more on their business rather than their personal lives. However, our entrepreneurial networks require the support of our personal networks to thrive. Positive relationships with family and friends are vital and can produce much needed confidence to succeed in your business. As such, balance between work and life must be established, especially when your spouse or domestic partner doesn't share your business vision. With the right practices and habits, entrepreneurs can maintain their success while making their personal relationships work.
Prioritization is key.
Prioritize your life goals to achieve success in both your business and your personal relationships. Entrepreneurs are good planners. Including your partner in your daily schedule makes it easier to maintain your relationship and your business success. While businesses are important, relationships are too. Your partner should always be your number one priority. If that individual can't be your number one priority, your business will be successful, but your relationship will likely fail. So make sure your number one priority is your partner and your family, number two is your business, and number three is your friends and/or social life.
When planning your week, reserve a specific amount of time for your partner, and plan the rest of your week around that. Ensuring that you make time for your partner will strengthen your relationship. As the rest of your week is focused on business, don't forget that on occasion, you need time for your family and friends. In other words, divide your time between your important relationships and your business. Sometimes, business emergencies happen, and you will need to adjust as needed to address them. That is one reason for having your partner be aware of your business activities. If they are kept in the loop, they better understand your business needs.
Make them aware.
Often, partners of entrepreneurs feel unimportant and don't understand the commitment to the business. As such, it is important to be up front at the beginning of the relationship. Tell your partner how committed you are to your business, and that you'll do your best to spend time with your beloved. While you shouldn't always discuss business with your partner, when things get tough in the business, confide, don't hide; there may be insights that you partner has that you haven't considered. Such a contribution can help make your partner feel important and appreciated.
It's easier for your partner to provide support when you share your business challenges. Whenever there is a business event, ask your partner to attend the outing with you. Introduce your partner to all the people you know, and let your partner know that you are delighted with their companionship.
Get them involved.
Your partner can help with networking suppliers and clients. He or she may not be there for business purposes, but the acquaintances gained from the event might become helpful to your business. Even if your partner still doesn't share your business vision, by their involvement and showing your appreciation, you ensure a better understanding of your commitment to both your business and your relationship.
Unplug and reboot.
It is also important that entrepreneurs learn to stop and unplug. Despite prioritizing time during the week and incorporating your partner into your business activities, it may still seem that you're always connected to your business. This can negatively affect your personal outlook on life and general health. One suggestion is to avoid micromanaging your business. You can't always be in charge. Learn to delegate, and trust your employees and business partners. When your employees and business partners know you trust them, they're more motivated to work hard and maintain good employee and business relations.
Sometimes in order to be dedicated to your business, you need to disconnect from the business for a little while and come back with a fresh perspective, so you can get better at things. Also, keep your focus on the solidity and strength of your relationship with your partner. This particular suggestion doesn't need to be a regular occurrence. It could be as simple as a weekend vacation where you find yourself not thinking about your business. A long weekend can help refresh you and, when it's spent with your partner, strengthen your relationship.
Related: How to Schedule a Productive Weekend
You may also want to consider a longer time-off, as extended breaks are good for the soul. It is always fun to see other parts of the world, other cultures, and to observe how other people are living their lives. In doing so, it will allow you to gain a strong appreciation for your life, the people in it and your business. Anne Lamott, American novelist and writer, says, "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." Sometimes a little time away will help you reboot.
As noted, balance between work and life is necessary even though it may not be the easiest task in the world to achieve. Having a well-thought-out balance between your priorities allows you to be dedicated to your business while also maintaining good personal relationships.