Never Stop Innovating
Which are you more committed to: your business or your life?
You may love both. You may work hard for both. But at the end of the day, you may be spending more time on one than the other… and, chances are, it’s not your life.
We entrepreneurs are shamelessly devoted to our work. We have a special connection with the business we’ve created and what we do for a living.
But if you’re not careful, you can start to view your business as the primary source of your emotional needs. Before long, you’ll become an addict: someone addicted to growing your business and reaping its rewards.
Which is great – but it doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything else.
If you allow your addiction to grow, you may find yourself leaving other parts of your life in the shade. Eventually, your partner or spouse will wind up wondering whether you’re actually working or doing something else that you shouldn’t be doing.
Is it possible to strike a healthy balance between running a successful business and living a wonderful life?
Indeed it is – and your life depends on it.
Did you know that the divorce rate of entrepreneurs is five to ten percent higher than other couples?
Which means… if the average rate of divorce in the US is around 38%, the entrepreneur divorce rate must be around 43% and 48%.
That’s … almost half.
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Why are so many entrepreneurs doomed to fail in marriage?
Divorce experts say that much of it comes down to sacrifice. That is, sacrificing too much.
An entrepreneurs passion for their business can cause them to neglect other things, such as family life, love, and people in general.
You see, it’s easy to think that your company or project will only absorb your time until it takes off – and then you’ll have all your time for your spouse and family.
Usually, that’s an illusion. You will ALWAYS need to be working on your business. And, if it goes well, it’ll only get busier. Innovation is key: when one project finishes, you know you’ll need to move onto the next one.
As a result, you never have time for your husband, wife or partner.
There are ways to avoid this trap. You CAN succeed in both your business and your love life – and it begins by treating your relationship as an asset, rather than a side-project.
- Market yourself… to your partner.
When you fail to market your business properly, you’ll miss out on loads of opportunities. Customers will only find someone else to buy from if you neglect to communicate with them.
This is exactly why some companies spend millions of dollars marketing to existing clients. They want them to keep coming back!
And that’s exactly how you can market yourself to your partner.
You can keep your partner coming back for more by continuing to market yourself to him or her – just as you did when you first started going out.
In fact, if you’re always as charming as you were at the beginning of your relationship, there’s no reason for it to end.
- Never stop innovating.
When business slows or plateaus, what do you do? You start searching for ways to revive it.
Companies such as Facebook or Apple never stop innovating – even when they’re ahead of everyone else. They’re constantly improving their products and looking for new ways to please their customers.
So, do the same with your relationship. What can you do to make it new and fresh again? Even if things are good, what could make them even better?
Some couples might go on an exotic vacation together, or start taking salsa classes. Some might hire a sex therapist to ‘jazz up’ the intimacy in their marriage. The options are endless.
Apply the same energy to your relationship as you would your business, and you’ll go from good to great in the same way.
- Be open about your visions.
If you have staff, you’ll know how important it is to create a safe, fun workplace culture. People work better when they’re happy, and a good workplace culture is integral to a good output. This begins with sharing your vision.
Well, the same goes for your relationship. If you’re working long hours, taking business trips or spending huge amounts on keeping your business afloat, they deserve to know that they feature in your end goal, too.
Whatever your vision for the future is, make sure you include your partner in it.
You may be surprised to find how much more supportive and understanding your partner is when they’re included. Creating a vision that you both can share will remove the feelings of guilt you have when you’re off running your company more often than you are at home.
Make sure your partner knows they’re in your heart, too – and they’ll respond in kind.
- Keep mixing things up.
You’re probably familiar with running multiple projects at the same time. Most entrepreneurs are fairly high-energy folk, so it feels natural to have several things on the go at once. Some might even own two or three companies.
Obviously, this makes your relationship a little more tricky to maintain – especially after several years together. The things you loved about one another, in the beginning, may seem less exciting now.
The dishes you both loved are now ho-hum, the vacations you take together are always to the same places, the things you talk about each night never change… and before you know it, you’re living a kind of Groundhog Day.
Unfortunately, this can be why some people wind up having an affair. Something exciting comes along and they find themselves chasing it, craving something new and unknown. They may not even think about the chaos and hurt they will cause as a result.
That’s why it’s vital to keep mixing things up. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
Keep things fun, but don’t try to change lots of things at once. Inject a few small changes into your relationship just every now and then. Try a Mystery Date night, for example: tell your partner you’re taking him or her out, but don’t tell them where (make sure it’s somewhere they’ll enjoy, though!)
You could even try blindfolding your partner and not allowing them to remove it until you’re at the door of the restaurant/airport/mini golf course until you get there!
These kinds of surprises will help to keep your relationship new and exciting, no matter how long you’ve been together.
- Let your partner know they’re number one.
Do you want to be the number one person in your partner’s life? Of course you do. So it’s only fair that your partner knows they’re number one in YOUR life.
As entrepreneurs, we can sometimes forget to share our passion and energy equally between our business and our love life. But if you want both to grow, they both require attention. In equal amounts.
When the one you love knows that he or she is part of your purpose in life, they’ll naturally want you to succeed. But you have to give them a reason to feel that way.
There’s nothing worse than seeing your loved one have to compete with your efforts to make a living. Find a way to balance the two, and both will thrive. There should be no end to your passion for business – and no end to your passion for your relationship, either.
Never stop innovating, and you’ll never stop succeeding.