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As a doctor who retrained in human psychology, behavior, and growth, I am passionate about the effects of love and intimacy on every aspect of our lives. Entrepreneurs are passionate, motivated and committed to their vision. However, this can come at a huge price to pay for their closest relationships.
Over the past 20 years I have supported, trained and trained entrepreneurs and managers to work together effectively, to make and manage contacts. Interestingly, during this period I have observed that an unexpected source of impetus to accomplish our purpose is knowing that we are loved – deep, intimate, and complete. In short, our intimate relationships can affect or affect our business life.
In the UK, the National Statistics Bureau found that 42 percent of marriages end in divorce. In the USA, experts estimate the rate at 39 percent. However, divorce lawyers estimate that the divorce rate for entrepreneurs is between 5 and 10 percent higher, which means that half of entrepreneurs' marriages are doomed. No good news! As entrepreneurs, how can we enjoy and protect our most important personal relationships? Here are five suggestions.
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1. Turn off your superhero
Successful entrepreneurs sometimes find themselves in the superhero archetype. Women entrepreneurs in particular tend to be superwomen – they work long hours, work through lunch, and rarely take vacation days to get results. Superwoman burns the midnight oil so badly that she often burns herself.
That doesn't mean that entrepreneurs don't want to have time for relationships. Do it. You can set a week or times per week until today. However, it is their superhero archetype that shows up! This superhuman energy is simply not conducive to making a deep connection. Often what we need to get our business off the ground is kryptonite for our lovers or potential lovers.
Gaining time for a relationship is not enough: you need to create the space and energy that allow a connection to form and grow.
2. Understand the male and female polarity
According to the six-dimensional Hofstede model of national culture, which describes itself as "one of the most comprehensive studies of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture", countries can be classified as male or female values. The UK, US, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, Italy, China and other countries rank high when it comes to assessing traditionally “masculine” traits – things like “heroism, assertiveness, competition, and material rewards for the success". More female countries – those that value collaboration, consensus and caring – have lower status when it comes to perception in the business world.
When we grow up and work in cultures that celebrate so-called male values, we too begin to measure ourselves against these values. Regardless of our gender or sexuality, we need to be able to use both male and female energies to create the conditions for deep intimacy and love.
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3. Dangers of prioritization
Successful entrepreneurs live from strict prioritization. We prioritize our time and resources, but subconsciously we often prioritize our closest relationships, be it with our partner, children, friends or ourselves.
Women feel the effects of this prioritization particularly strongly. We know that our right to work has been hard won and that women in that struggle have been accused of preferring work rather than being wives or mothers. This has subconsciously convinced us that our ability to work means affecting our ability to be a great partner.
We all know that while we will set five priorities for the next quarter, numbers four and five will get a little less attention. So if your relationship is number four or five on your priority list, it is not going to get the attention it needs to be successful.
Related: 4 Tips To Avoid The Entrepreneur's Curse
4. Treat yourself to your passions
When our feelings and desires are fulfilled, we are strengthened, our light is illuminated and our happiness is visible, stabilizing and contagious. That spark and energy you feel can rekindle your relationship.
But how many of us take the time to regularly enjoy what we enjoy? How often do we get lost building our business? When was the last time you put your needs and wishes first?
Discovering and practicing what we enjoy – be it a bowl of cherries, kicking autumn leaves, or listening to loud music – can bring our spark back, and that spark has the power to rekindle our relationship.
Related: In a relationship with an entrepreneur? Here are 10 things you should never say.
5. Bring in the exterior
Cultural values like loyalty and monogamy lead many of us to have strict rules about what is and is not appropriate for us with other people. As a result, we avoid looking into the barista's eyes, wondering if it is right to laugh with a coworker or friend, and close in opportunities to enjoy the spark of interactions outside of our long-term partnership.
I am not suggesting for a moment that we all run away and be unfaithful! But when we end joy and fun outside of our relationship, we numb ourselves. We turn off our life energy and reduce the heat and energy available for our relationship.
Instead of closing yourself off, be open to a stranger's smile, laugh whenever you can, and let these external interactions inspire you into your relationship. Take advantage of the naughty, confident person from work and bring them home. And enjoy the fun!