It’s no secret that I’ve always had a thing for entrepreneurs…entrepreneurs at least 6’2 with dashing good looks and broad shoulders. But with those broad shoulders comes a lot of extra weight that can weigh down on a girl if not completely understanding and open to what she’s about to get herself into.
An entrepreneur is a whole different breed of man and are not for the faint of heart. More than likely, you fell in love with your entrepreneur for his passion, ambition and overall need to succeed. Unfortunately, it’s that same ambition that will start to test your relationship and get your entrepreneur into trouble.
So, for all you doe-eyed loveys out there considering diving head first into the mystical abyss of entrepreneur love and supporter-dom, here are a few tips I’ve learned, hard knocks in hand and home, along the way as to how to love an entrepreneur.
He’s Going to Be Gone… ALOT.
If you’re someone that considers themselves a dependent (I realize everyone fancies themselves an independent woman but let’s be real here) and doesn’t like being alone, you’re going to find out real quick that loving an entrepreneur is going to be much more difficult than you had originally planned. Personally, I am completely fine entertaining myself (being alone is the only time I don’t feel guilty stuffing my face with brownie batter and flipping on the latest Nicolas Sparks flick) but if you’re an individual that needs a companion to lick the batter spoon right alongside you at every breaking moment, make sure you have a good support group, friends or family, that you’ll be able to rely on when your love is away. Furry friends will help with this issue as well.
Get Used to the Mess.
My friends and family will tell you that I’m a nut when it comes to my home. Design. Décor. Cleanliness. You name it. As much as those items mean to me, they take a back seat when you date an entrepreneur—especially when you share an 1100sq ft beach condo with one. Entrepreneurs go through many stages, product development sometimes being one of them, and their amazing creativity will undoubtedly make a mess of your home from time-to-time. There have even been days (strings of days) when I have been strictly informed not to clean our home. I smile, nod and proceed to schedule a Doctors appointment knowing I’m undoubtedly forming an ulcer. Ulcer or no ulcer, it’s his house too…and that will become very apparently when his stuff is EVERYWHERE.
Why buy baskets, you ask? See item 2. You’ve heard of the crazy bag lady? I am the crazy basket lady. The entrepreneur’s “stuff” will soon find its way into every nook and cranny in your home. At one point, I could have done the backstroke in our bedroom through the pool of prototypes on the floor. So unless your honey is peddling vases or Kate Spade picture frames, hide the “stuff” in a basket. Who needs marriage counseling when you have baskets?
It’s Not Junk.
Dear God don’t throw anything away without his approval. What is one woman’s junk (pretty much everything he brings into the house) is an entrepreneur’s treasure. Entrepreneur really means Hoarder in Latin. So whether it be a screw, a post-it with something scribbled on it, a magazine from six years ago or a used band-aid, DO NOT toss it without his approval. Tip: Put (hide) what you consider toss items in a basket and once a week, go through the items together, coaxing him to get rid of any unneeded “stuff.”
Save His Accomplishments and Share Them with Friends and Family.
He will have accomplishments in his career, whether it be a local newspaper feature or a small business award, and if he’s like most men, he’ll never keep the proof let alone share it with the one person in his life that wants him to succeed even more than you do—his mother. So keep these awards and recognitions for him (and his mom) because one day he’s going to really appreciate that you have.
Feed Your Entrepreneur.
He will get busy. He will forget to eat. He too needs to feel loved even when it’s HE who is away from you all of the time. Yes, I love to cook so this one is a little easier for me, but I always make sure my baby is fed, whether it be a late dinner or pre-packed leftovers for lunch the next day. I, myself, travel quite a bit for work so will cook ahead, package him meals for the week accompanied with individual post-it notes as to which day and time he should be eating which pre-packed meal….Too far?
Know When it’s Time to Leave or Time to Stay.
Like I said, loving an entrepreneur is not easy, but your happiness and goals need to be just as important and successful as his business.
Do Not Try to Change Him.
Entrepreneurs do not just wake up one day and decide it is their lively hood. It is in their blood and there is no changing who they are. If a couple deals have gone south, leashing him up to a dog house with only a few feet of rope is not going to help your cause. He’s not going to become an accountant or architect because you think he needs a normal desk job like your friends’ husbands. If you’re picking fights with him because of who he is, take a step back and consider the real root of the problem and what the resolution is. If the fix comes down to changing him, it isn’t him that needs to change.
Tread Lightly When it Comes to Major Business Decisions
As the lead supporter in his life, you are entitled to an opinion but at the end of the day, it is a business that HE owns and it is his decision to make. This is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome and one of the most critical to remember. This is the make-or-break tip of the day. Yes, it is hard to watch the love of your life put themselves in a tough position, partner with a bad person, or shell out money to something hap-hazard, but from experience, what is even harder, is mending the divide you start to create between the two of you when you do not side with his decisions. There is a fine line between being a cautious supporter and being a nay-sayer. It is in our blood to protect the ones we love, but like a mother who lets their toddler fall when learning to walk so they try, try, try again, we too need to let our entrepreneurs fall and learn on their own. If owning your own business was easy, everyone would do it. It’s battling the risk who makes them who they are and because they are capable of overcoming it on their own against all odds…that is why we fall and stay in love with them.
Make time to stay in love.
You’re both busy. You’re both leading crazy lives. There are times he’ll be too busy to comment on your new hair style or how spic and span the floors look after you’ve spent your entire Saturday afternoon cleaning them. Get out of the house. Go dancing. Go get dinner at that place you’ve always wanted to go. Also, remember that he thinks and makes hard decisions all day long. Spending time together is one executive decision he won’t mind you making. Odds are he’s going to appreciate the break and appreciate even more that you made the decision to do so for him. P.S. Kevin, I just booked Cabo for us and put it on your credit card. Xoxo
Have you dated an entrepreneur? What kept you together? What pulled you apart?