Surviving the Entrepreneurial Life: Perspectives: Yours / Theirs

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In any entrepreneurial family, empathy goes a long way.


I think that in any entrepreneurial family empathy goes a long way. Trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, it’s true in any marriage, but it’s certainly true in this situation where both spouses usually have very, very different pressures on them if one is an entrepreneur and one is not. I would say that the entrepreneur and the spouse each need to really understand one key thing at least. The spouse needs to understand that the entrepreneur has to be all in. And really should try not to take their grumpiness or their work‑aholism, their tendency to work‑aholism or their absences personally. I know this was very hard speaking as a spouse to do. But try to understand that the business requires so much, especially during the startup years. And what the entrepreneur needs to understand is that what for him or her is a series of sprints in business, when I get that new account, or when we break even, or when we open that new branch or whatever it happens to be, land that new account, is for their spouse a long and often lonely marathon.