Love & Business: What Marriage Has Taught Me About Entrepreneurship
When I was dating, I didn't think twice about how I was going to balance running a business with the guy I was seeing at the time. Because there was no serious commitment and I was in the early stage of growing my brand, I automatically knew that my business would take priority over any guy that I came in contact with. That was until I met my now husband.
The closer we became, the more I began to think about how I would do both. How would I successfully pour my all into my business and my relationship? I won't lie, when it came time for us to have the marriage talk, I was worried that one would take priority over the other and somewhere it would all fall apart. Marriage is a commitment that you make with God and the person you love but my business was also my livelihood, my purpose and a huge part of the person I was becoming. And I was afraid that I would lose myself while I becoming one with my husband.
Luckily, I married an incredible man who is not only an entrepreneur himself but is also extremely supportive of my dreams and both of the businesses that I run. As we're coming up on our first anniversary as husband and wife, I can honestly say that I was worried for no reason and that marriage has actually taught me a lot about how I can run my business better.
When I was dating, I knew that my business would come first. But when i got married, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to balance it all. But marriage has actually taught me a lot about running a business.
One of the topics that was stressed a lot in our pre-marital class was communication. Clearly stating what you need from your partner and expressing how you feel (whether that be good or bad) is how great relationships work. The same goes for your business. Whether you are telling your own story or setting boundaries with your clients, clear communication skills are crucial for your business to thrive.
My biggest tip for effectively communicating is to think before you speak. Take a moment to process your thoughts and emotions so that you can clearly articulate what's on your mind without any regrets.
IT TAKES A TEAM
Both my husband and I are incredibly talented, but we each have strengths in different areas. While I take control of making sure the monthly bills are taken care of, he is incredible with making big decisions that will affect our household. We know who is better at what and we allow each other to use our strengths accordingly. The same goes for in your business. While you may believe that you can do all things when it comes to your brand and may even find joy in running a "one woman show," if you want your business to thrive, then you either need a team or delegate tasks that you're just not that good at. Whether that be someone you can go to as a mentor for advice or hiring someone to help with the tasks that you don't understand.
SACRIFICE IS NECESSARY
When you're married, you are no longer making decisions for yourself. And often when it comes to making those decisions, there will be times when you may not agree. And what happens when you can't agree? One of you have to make a sacrifice in order to move forward. Running a business is all about making sacrifices, especially if you're in the early stages of building your brand. You may have to sacrifice time with your friends in order to work on your business or sacrifice making personal purchases in order to reinvest in your brand. Sacrifice is necessary for success, whether that be in your business or in your relationship.
YOU HAVE TO NURTURE IT
Marriage takes work, it takes time and nurturing in order for you both to continue to grow. You can't pop into a marriage one minute and not ever communicate or spend time with your spouse again for another month (this is why we prioritize date nights!) I stress the power of consistency a lot to my clients. If you want to see significant results in your business you have to spend time nurturing it. That means creating a to-do list that focuses on tasks that will help to grow your brand, sticking to a consistent content schedule and continuously promoting your products and services to your audience. Most entrepreneurs never make it to their desired level of success simply because they do not want to take time out to really nurture their brands.
I should also mention that there is no such thing as balance and constantly trying to master it will do nothing but cause overwhelm in your business and relationship. Instead, we choose to focus on what absolutely needs to be done in that season. My husband knows that if I am in the middle of a launch then I need to focus on that and possibly eat dinner in my office. On the flip side of that, I know that when Friday comes around, I have to put aside work to spend time with my husband. So while it's impossibly to balance everything that we have going on, we clearly understand what has to take priority in the moment.
written by alisha roberston
Alisha is an author, business coach and founder of Living Over Existing. Visit her personal website.