Romance & Revenue: Big Relationship Tips for Entrepreneurs (FS055)

Romance & Revenue: Big Relationship Tips for Entrepreneurs (FS055)

You’re not building your business to end up alone and regretful, like some Scrooge in a silent house somewhere.

But if you’re an entrepreneur you could be on the fast track to relationship regret.

The way you’re building your business, the passion and hustle and drive and chutzpah, might just scrooge you over. (See what I did there?)

I, myself, am extremely capable of slipping down that slope, slowly moving apart from my wife over time.

So let’s talk about how to nip this in the bud and stay close with the people who enrich our lives while we build our businesses.

This is a great conversation that’ll help anyone who’s driven professionally. If you know and care about someone like that, share this episode with them… could save them a world of pain down the road.


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How to Share Your Vision

Probably the richest tip in this episode is this: we’ve got to get our spouse/partner on board with the vision of the business we’re building. Here’s 5 ways to do that:

1. Before you talk, visualize and empathize. In the guide to defining your audience I included a worksheet called the UX Empathy Map. It’ll seem silly, but it can be powerful to spend some time doing this to get into your partner’s skin a little, feel what they feel, discover objections they may have. Download the free guide if you haven’t and sketch out some ideas.

(Note: I literally did this about my wife and mom for mother’s day gifts. Extremely helpful. Also, the 3 story tips episode is good for this as well—who’s your main character? What’s their desire? What’s at stake? Etc.)

2. Have a big vision talk. Pitch your idea to your spouse/partner, but make it conversational, allowing her/him to contribute pieces to the story… what the future could look like, what work now may unlock for you two later, what kind of life you’d like to have together, what the difference between “just surviving” and thriving looks like for you two, etc.

3. Share your doubts. Don’t just keep it pie in the sky. No business is easy. There’ll be compromises, surprises and let downs. Similarly, no relationship is easy… if it’s worth fighting for, there’ll be fights. Include the darkness in your talks so you’re not completely deflated when the first tough thing happens.

4. Get logistical. The big vision is important, but equally so, the details and logistics of what your business looks like in real life is just as important.

Do you expect to be available at the same time each work day? Do you answer every phone call? What about dinner time email checks? Date nights? What’s your commitment to one another? What’s the reality of your work week going to look like? How much business travel each year? What does he/she expect from you? How could you delight him/her in your weekly availability?

5. Plan a monthly dinner. I picked this one up from Brad Feld… plan a monthly dinner where you and your spouse bring your calendars. Look back, what mistakes were made that could be learned from? Look forward, what’s coming up to prepare each other for? Have some wine, support one another, gush a little, use protection.

None of these bits by themselves will change much. What will count is your vision for your life with your partner PLUS your followthrough. That’s where these dinners can make such a huge impact… tightening the bonds over time as you trust each other’s support and commitment more and more.

Better that than what seems to be a typical story for most of us entrepreneurs: a slow and gradual slipping away from one another as we get wrapped up in our private, skull-sized kingdoms.


Show Notes

Mark Suster: I will invest more in YouTube | This Week In Startups Some great stuff in this interview with a guy who gives good perspective on business, partnerships and more.

The Co-Founder Mythology “So emotional is the topic that people often want to debate me based on the title before they’ve even heard my point of view.”

Grace And Lace This is the company I was talking about seeing on Shark Tank.

Get the free guide to defining your audience
  • http://GilMichelini.com Gil Michelini

    Ah grasshopers…as men we think we can have control over every aspects of our lives but there no person, no book, no seminar that can prepare us for married life and raising children with the balance of career. Having said that, let me give you some advice — because I am a dad, I always have advice — from a person nearing the other side of raising children with 2 of the 4 out of the house and just passing 25 years of marriage. (Obviously I can only speak from the male perspective)

    I heard Corbertt just describe where I was 10 years ago. I had thrown myself fully into my thing to make my millions and I “let” my wife raise our daughters. She never bought into what I was doing because I was working against our marriage rather than for it. Like Chase said, I would lock myself away in my room or spend hours and hours away from the house.

    After 5-ish years, we had nothing, I didn’t know my children, and I was on the verge of divorce. Thankfully, I woke up, did the hard work to start correcting the errors I had made, and today life is great. 3 years ago I started working on another thing and it is totally different because I build it around my relationship with my wife and my daughters.

    Men, nothing — N O T H I N G — is more important than your marriage. Divorce is not an option. Do not even consider it. You are the one with the problem, not her. She is a wonderful gift for you.

    Your time with your children when you are the most important person in their lives is SOOOO very short. I missed out on some of that time so I could work. I look back with deep regret.

    Thanks triple C for this topic. If we don’t get this right, our what we do in a career means nothing.

    • http://about.me/kenw Ken Wallace

      Excellent comment! Thanks for sharing.

  • Mark Deal

    Marriage, like your own business, is RENTED and not owned – and the rent is due everyday.

  • Monica

    I will listen to this episode, though to be honest, I feel left out, as a divorced woman starting over. Perhaps, I will get some insights by those who care enough about their present relationships to include each other in their work lives.

  • http://dearcollegeme.com/ Terran Marks

    This one really hit home, guys. Losing direction/motivation after ending a relationship that was impacted by business choices is very real right now. Thanks for addressing it so well. Cheers.

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    My wife hated my dream until we had an open conversation. She started to believe and it was a lot easier to chase that dream with her help. Now that we’re supported by that dream we’re both loving the freedom!

  • Michael Ofei

    Man this one hit the spot guys! Like Chase’s wife, I was in real estate and one of the main reasons why I got out and started an online business was to align my goals with my partners goals. It initially felt like a compromise but I’m so glad I did and we’re much happier now because of it. We are finally on the same page and both working towards an independent lifestyle. Can’t wait for the following episodes in the series! Mike

  • http://about.me/kenw Ken Wallace

    Excellent episode topic. It’s important to keep in mind that we’re building this lifestyle to have more freedom to spend time with our loved ones. Along the way, we need to work hard to ensure that we arrive at the destination with those same loved ones that inspired our mission. If we get too laser-focused on business and lose our loved ones along the journey, then what was the point of it all?

  • Michael Ehling

    Good discussion and I think you missed an aspect of what ‘Terry’ had said. He said he had lost his motivation after the separation. Yes, let’s talk about how to prevent the breakdown of relationship. And let’s talk about how to find your motivation after.

    To ‘Terry,’ I say that your motivation will return. That is how life works. Take the time for self including Netflix. There is healing happening now. As you heal, look for ideas about what is important to you now. And watch for a very natural return of that spark, that, ahem, fizzle. If you remain unmotivated or are slipping into something worse like depression, reach for support. There’s a whole world of people who want you to succeed.

  • Mel Richards

    A little late to the convo, just had a listen and hot damn this one hit home. Thanks for this great episode and your openness Chase.

    It’s been a struggle on my end, given my focus on my biz. Your point about having your partner understand is soooo important. But challenging when your partner doesn’t seem to understand the why, the pursuit of building a business or entrepreneurship in general. It can really feel sometimes like you’re living on different planes. They are supportive, but don’t really ‘get’ your strong desire to build/create something from nothing and make a living from it.

    Can also be a challenge when you’re working on building a location-independent business and your partner isn’t as free to travel as much. Been seeing more and more couples coming across this challenge.

    à bientot!

Up Next:

10 Tactics to Better Work-Life Balance (Part 1, FS059)

You beat yourself up when you don’t get enough done in the day. You get frustrated and moody and it clouds your vision, keeps you from doing your best work. I know because I do the same thing… and, for some reason, we’re ALL so naturally bad at work-life balance.

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