Welcome to the second Kate Q and A – and when I got this question originally I thought cheeky monkey but then I thought actually there is a very important message here so bear with me. This chap was asking about my relationship status – single and very happily so thank you – no applicants required. But he was also asking how important a supportive partner was in the process of building your business.
And I’d have to say this is a very important point.
You see I used a LOT of energy up in my chaotic relationships from 1992 to 2011. 3 divorces, numerous flings. I say this not to impress you with notches on my bed post but to tell you that it required an enormous amount of energy.
A great partner will support you – understand your obsession, balance you sufficiently so that you remember when there is daylight and that you have to eat/exercise/rest – but allow you the freedom to work as hard as you like and 100% respect that.
Because we are a unique breed – us entrepreneurs. Our work is not just what pays the bills – it’s an obsession – and arguably in the long term a very beneficial one at that.
We entrepreneur’s work for a period of time like most will never work to have the kind of lifestyle eventually that most will never have – and we want to put our all into it. If we were an Olympic athlete planning to go for gold. our partners friends and family would understand the early nights, the even earlier mornings, the nights off the booze, and the neglect of household chores – if it meant we could be 100% focused on our goals. We wouldn’t get told off for day dreaming about our goal at the dinner table nor be distracted from our 90 minutes by a partner phoning us up at work asking fatuous questions about Aunt Muriel’s birthday. We wouldn’t be expected to remember lots of domestic stuff – our heads are busy working on a goal so singular they would be 100% supportive of it.
If they are not, well honestly, you have a challenge. Either you get support or you don’t. Either you get encouragement or you get drama. Either they understand your work load or you get a guilt trip. And it will weigh on you heavily, which, regardless of how self-disciplined you are, will impact on your performance.
I say right now this is all IN MY EXPERIENCE. But not just mine personal experience – but of hundreds of other self-employed people I know. We don’t have a JOB just like anyone else – it’s much MUCH bigger than that – so our significant others have to understand. And if they don’t? I guess you have to make the call.
A great partner can be like your secret weapon – your confidante, your backbone, and your leveller – and even your kick up the arse when you are feeling low. But a negative partner will fuck you and your business up – and you will have to make the call.
I end this saying I am no marriage counsellor – in fact what is the polar opposite of that??!! I am just saying I know the formula for success – and it doesn’t include a dramatic personal life. You need support. Your significant other may benefit exponentially in the long term by your success, not to mention should love you enough to understand so if they can’t.. well only you can decide.
I trust that helps. Keep ‘em coming – can’t wait for the next one!!