All too many entrepreneurs crack under the pressure of maintaining their love life and work life simultaneously: They are likely to let one go rather than settle for mediocrity in both (usually the relationship).
Related: Work-Life Balance Is a Myth
Studies have shown, however, that people in thriving relationships not only live longer but make more money in their businesses and get promoted more frequently. So, how are these people managing to create successful, long-lasting relationships while optimizing their career growth? For one, they are choosing partners that fit their lifestyle.
Before I dig into how you too can balance your relationship and your business, I want to re-emphasize that point: You first need to find a congruent partner. To do that, you should establish with this special person that that you are dedicated to your business. Discuss your five-year plan. Tell him or her your hopes and aspirations for your career and ask for personal support in your endeavors.
Explain that you want to put as much (if not more) effort into your relationship as you do with your business, but that there may be occasions when you won’t live up to your partner’s expectations. Say that you want the two of you to feel safe enough to discuss these issues and overcome obstacles together as they arise.
Make your partner part of your journey, and he or she will more likely be supportive down the road, when you are feeling the pressure to be a perfect founder and partner.
While you’re climbing the proverbial ladder, add these practices into your routine to create a balanced and fulfilling relationship.
1. Keep things black and white.
When you’re at work, work. When you’re not at work, stop working. Compartmentalizing your two worlds is a huge stress reliever. It makes your home an asylum where you can escape the day-to-day madness.
It’s okay for the two of you to get some extra work done in the evening, as long as you have set aside designated time for your partner. When you get home from a long day, your first instinct shouldn’t be to open your laptop and continue working. Take some time to reconnect and recharge with your partner.
Spend at least two hours together when you walk through the door. Make a meal. Talk. Let yourself unwind.
Also, implement a “no phones in bed” rule. Once the two of you decide to turn in, phones and laptops are to be put away. Your bedroom is your sanctuary, and therefore a no work zone.
2. Stop glorifying ‘busy.’
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life” – Socrates
We live in a society where in the eyes of your peers, the fullness of your calendar dictates your success. When people ask how you are, do you automatically reply with, “So busy!" as if it that were the highest-value state you could be in?
If it is, stop filling your calendar with low-leverage "busy work" and start adding your partner into it more often. By creating non-negotiable dates with your partner and making a physical or digital reminder for yourself, you are more likely to take those dates seriously. You’ll start treating date night as a priority and be less likely to forget about it.
3. Create more time.
By outsourcing mundane tasks, you can open up your schedule for your relationship. Hire a cleaning service, have healthy meals delivered to your doorstep or hire a personal trainer to get you up earlier in the day for your workout.
All of these things add up to more hours available to spend with your partner.
He or she will notice and appreciate the effort you’re putting into creating space for you two to connect and have fun together on a regular basis; and, if and when something does come up with work, your partner will be more supportive of your taking time off to deal with it.
4. Be proud of your relationship.
Take as much pride in your relationship as you do in your KPIs. Consider your relationship goals as important as those for your career, and celebrate your successes when you reach significant milestones.
Don’t be afraid to show off a little. You worked hard for a successful relationship. Of course there’s no competition here, but you should aim to be the most connected and in-love couple at the Christmas party (locate and note all mistletoe opportunities upon entering the room).
Undoubtedly, you know several entrepreneurs who have divorced several times. It’s the entrepreneurial cliché… lucky in business, unlucky in love. And almost always the reason is a drop in communication. So, don’t suffer the same fate. Ultimately, what good is a life full of business success when you have no one to share it with?
In the end, putting effort into your relationship (perhaps even more effort than you put into your business) will result in your emotional and physical health as well as your business’s bottom line, thanking you.