Entrepreneurs are a different breed and if you don’t understand that you could find yourself on rocky ground if you enter a relationship with one. Entrepreneurship doesn’t have to kill your relationships though. It’s so much more fun, and more rewarding, to run with “the dream” together.
Thankfully, my wife refuses to give up. She’s stuck with me, win or lose. Here are a few scraps from what we have picked up over the past nineteen years…
1. Ensure the closest person in your life is bought in for the journey.
Stepping out together on the business journey you are on requires buy-in from both of you. After all, both of your lives will be profoundly affected by the choices you make. Take the time you need to count the cost.
Not everyone gets it. An entrepreneur has a burning desire to create something out of nothing. Trading in the ‘normal life’ with its regular monthly paycheck to establish something noteworthy seems exciting to an entrepreneur but not to everyone…
Thankfully, my wife is not risk-averse. She shares my faith, which is something that plays an important role in both of our lives. We both want to drive change and our immediate focus is to use the media to create a lasting impact on businesses and communities and ultimately to leave a lasting legacy.
2. Life will be tough at times as an entrepreneur so remember why you started in the first place
Yellow “reduced” labels on groceries kept us in the most trying times. I knew the times at my local Tesco when the meat counter slashed their prices down. At first, I was one of a small number who appeared to be in the know, but over time our numbers grew. As time went by it was hard to break the habit of looking for those friendly yellow labels, even when I didn’t really need them any more.
In the toughest of times never forget why you started. You’ll fight another day.
“In the SAS, when you are done you are only 40% done.” (Floyd Woodrow ex-SAS) There is always more, you just haven’t pushed that far.
You see, entrepreneurship can be hard but the rewards will come. Don’t lose sight of why you started. It’s a process. It can feel like forever but stay in it.
3. Always have more vision than money.
When you have more money than vision you get comfortable and eventually diminish your impact. Bill Gates set up a foundation that no amount of money will solve, yet he is driven to make an impact. It keeps him going.
So have a mission. Know why you do what you do and whom you are doing it for. Keep sight of your vision, it’s your end goal, what you are working towards. It’s the place you want to get to. Make sure that your values are what govern how you and your business function. The set of values to which you work on a daily basis will ultimately enable you to fulfil your vision.
You can build something that benefits everyone.
4. Celebrate together and you’re on the same team
Success isn’t stuff, success is life. When adopting the four day work week the process began with me taking a day off per week. I hadn’t been on holiday for a long time and I needed space. Wednesdays gave me space to think, digest, process, reflect and see more of my wife and children.
This was good… I needed it… but what I didn’t want was to build a business that stacked everything around me and my lifestyle. So I took it to the team and pitched the four day work week.
Every other Friday for R&D (explore, personal development) and the remaining Fridays off (relax and have fun).
We launched in May and we’ve never looked back. I feel like I’ve become part of a movement, been on the radio a dozen times, in the press and connected with people like Charlotte Lockhart who is driving change with Andrew Barnes.
The rewards that come from an entrepreneurial life are better enjoyed together.
Hope some of that helps.