As any married entrepreneur will tell you, maintaining a happy relationship isn’t easy when you are constantly on the clock. A strong foundation is important to building a relationship, but it is the little things such as showing love and being understanding on a day-to-day basis that will keep it thriving. Striking a balance between work and your romantic relationship is essential to staying happy in both aspects of your life.
Even with the ever-changing work of entrepreneurship and the growing needs of your marriage and family, there are plenty of ways to strike a balance and keep your love alive. Here are seven tips for balancing entrepreneurship and marriage.
1. Communicate Regularly
If you want to balance your marriage and work life, you will need to communicate regularly with your spouse. This allows both partners to talk about what is and isn’t working on the work/life balance arrangement. When you are honest, gentle, and clear in your communication you leave little room to be misunderstood. This helps you understand each other’s wants and needs and avoid arguments and hurt feelings.
There are many reasons why communication is important in a happy, healthy relationship. For example, it can also beneficial to communicate about other avenues of your life, such as news about friends, your children, or any other topic you see fit. Just make sure you are using that time to connect and talk.
2. Set Rules
Balancing entrepreneurship and marriage is a juggling act. You can make this easier for both you and your partner by establishing rules. It doesn’t sound romantic, but sometimes setting guidelines is exactly what you need to make sure you are getting a proper balance between your career aspirations and your marriage.
Sit down with your partner and discuss which rules will be most helpful for both of you. Some examples of work/life balance rules that many couples have found beneficial are as follows:
Leave work at work
Reconnect together every day for at least 30-minutes
No answering work calls or e-mails after you get home from work
Share a 6-second kiss every single day
Do not look at your phones while you are having a conversation
Always go to bed at the same time
No smartphones until after dinner
No matter what rules and parameters you establish, let them be reasonable. For example, sticking to the rule that you partner must not answer their phone until after dinner even though they are expecting a huge sponsorship offer for their fledgling business would not be fair or reasonable.
3. Set Proper Work-Hours
As an entrepreneur, you set your own schedule. This allows you a great sense of freedom. You can set your own hours and use free time to spend with your mate. You avail yourself to them on a moment’s notice. However, being your own boss also has its downsides. One being that is can be difficult to know when to stop working.
As an entrepreneur, much of your work is done from home. This can make it difficult to know when to stop working. Many entrepreneurs end up getting the reputation as a “workaholic” because of this. Don’t let your passion for your business be the downfall of your marriage.
Set work hours, such as a traditional 9–5 shift, and treat these hours as though you were on the clock for a big company. Do not take personal phone calls during your ‘work’ hours. Once your allotted time has passed, hang up your proverbial hat and do not obsess over your tasks for the rest of the day.
4. Prioritize Your Mate
Your entrepreneurial goals are important to you, but so is your mate. Make you your mate knows they are still your number one priority by openly communicating together about your mutual wants and needs on a regular basis. Even if your mate is supportive of your career aspiration, they may still become jealous or feel left out of your life at times. Do your utmost to put them first by expressing your love both verbally and through physical affection. Make time for them weekly.
Before setting up your date night, make sure that you are free from all distractions from work. Turn your phone on silent and focus on spending time with your partner. Make sure that you do not talk about work during your date nights, or you may make your mate feel alienated.
5. Identify Obstacles in Marriage and Work
One way to balance entrepreneurship and marriage is to take precautions. Identify potential obstacles that may keep you and your partner from connecting while you are pursuing your entrepreneurial goals. These barriers might be your extended time spend working, opposite schedules, feeling tired, being too busy to have sex regularly, and becoming overwhelmed by stress and anxiety. By identifying these potential relationship barriers you will be able to take steps in advance to combat any problems they cause. Create a verbal or written plan and refer back to it, should you run into these obstacles.
6. Take Advantage of Your Schedule
As a working entrepreneur, it’s important to take time away with your spouse to reconnect regularly. You can do this by, of course, having a regular date night. But, it can also be beneficial to take an extended period of time together to bond and connect without work looming over your heads. Have a digital-free “staycation” or do a road trip or a weekend away. Whatever you choose, be sure you are spending quality time together as a couple and aren’t buried in your phones the whole trip.
Balancing entrepreneurship and marriage is an achievable goal if you know how to balance your time. Set up rules and priorities within the relationship, communicate regularly about your needs, identify any obstacles you may encounter in the future, and be flexible. Putting all of these methods into practice is key for balancing entrepreneurship and marriage.