Updated: Nov 12
20 Tips from 20 Years of Marriage to an Entrepreneur
"Married on steroids!" That’s how it feels to be married to an entrepreneur! In this episode, I’m going to share my journey, the ups, the downs, and everything in between of being married to someone who’s got their own business. I've been riding this roller coaster for nearly 20 years, and oh, what a ride it’s been! There have been loads of lessons and quite a few challenges. And today, I’m sharing 20 tips that have helped me not just survive but truly thrive in this relationship.
You see, being married to an entrepreneur is full of exciting highs and some tough lows. But I’m here to help you through those times with these tips. And hey, even if you’re not married to an entrepreneur, you might find these tips handy in other parts of your life. So, let’s dive in!
Tip #1: Understanding Big Picture Thinkers
Being married to an entrepreneur is like having a partner who thrives on the grand stage of life. Take my husband, Justin, for example. He's the type who can handle high-stress, high-drama situations like a pro. If danger lurked in a dark alley, he'd be the one to protect us without breaking a sweat. Big emotions, big ideas, big situations – that's where he shines.
But here's the catch: when it comes to the small stuff, the day-to-day tasks, he's not as comfortable. Give him a high-stakes scenario, and he's on fire. However, ask him to help with homework or chores, and he might freeze up. It's not that he can't do it. It's just that he's more at ease with the grand gestures than with the mundane.
So, if you're in a relationship with someone like Justin, who excels in the spotlight but fumbles with the everyday details, it's essential to understand this difference. You'll see them tackling monumental challenges with gusto, but when it comes to the little things, you might wonder why it's such a struggle. That's why recognizing these strengths and weaknesses helps us create a balance and appreciate each other's unique qualities.
Tip #2: Navigating the Emotional Side of Business
Now, let's dive into another aspect of being married to an entrepreneur that might resonate with many of you, regardless of your involvement in the business. Running a business is an emotional journey, and I've observed this firsthand with Justin. There's quite a bit on the line, and as you can imagine, emotions tend to play a significant role.
So, whether or not you're directly engaged in the business operations, entrepreneurs often need someone they can talk to. I've personally spent some time studying how to handle these emotions and complex situations. It's all about focusing on emotional growth and maturity. The reason? Well, when these challenges aren't managed well, it can really drain their emotional battery. And let's face it, they can't bring their A-game when they're running on empty emotionally.
You see, entrepreneurs sometimes hit personal limits and face their own struggles, but they are driven by their determination to keep moving forward. Here's where you come in:
Sometimes, they just need an outlet, someone who will listen and understand.
In many cases, that someone happens to be their partner.
It's important to realize that they're not always looking for solutions to their problems.
Instead, they simply need to express themselves and release that pent-up negative energy. Think of it as a pressure valve that helps them regain their creative spark. Understanding this dynamic has been key to helping me support Justin effectively and navigate the emotional side of entrepreneurship.
Tip #3: The Importance of Brainstorming for Entrepreneurs
In addition to the emotional side, here's another aspect of being married to an entrepreneur that might resonate with you. Business owners often find themselves needing to brainstorm regularly. They're filled with ideas that require discussion, and without an outlet, these ideas can create mental bottlenecks, hindering progress.
Entrepreneurs must engage in talks and brainstorming sessions to thrive. Managing a business means managing a constant flow of ideas that need exploration and discussion. This collaborative approach, as I've experienced with Justin, ensures they have a trusted sounding board. It's essential to provide an outlet for discussing and shaping these ideas, as brainstorming is a crucial part of the creative process that turns ideas into actionable steps for the business.
Tip #4: Finding the Balance Between Dream and Reality
Now, let's discuss the fourth tip, a pattern I've noticed in numerous business owners, Justin included. Sometimes, their ambition can surpass their ability to put their plans into action. You see, visionary entrepreneurs often get swept up in their big ideas, but they may not always consider the practical steps required to turn those ideas into reality.
For instance, Justin can be overflowing with enthusiasm, dreaming of massive goals like taking over the world. While I share in his excitement, I tend to play the role of the practical thinker, considering all the details and steps required to achieve such ambitious plans. Justin, however, often focuses more on the end result and might not have a clear plan on how to make his vision come to life.
Now, don't get me wrong. Dreaming big is a great motivator. It's like the saying
"Shoot for the moon, and you'll land among the stars."
Entrepreneurs often set high goals, which is admirable. But sometimes, they can get frustrated when real life doesn't align with their grand visions.
That's where feedback and finding a middle ground between their dreams and practical steps become important. It helps them navigate their journey with less frustration and more clarity.
Tip #5: Embrace Being Pushed Out of Your Comfort Zone
Entrepreneurs are known for pushing boundaries, even if it means pushing your buttons. They are active, deep thinkers who won't be afraid to push you out of your comfort zone. I often see Justin doing this, like in our recent podcast, where he inspired Brogan and Tyson with ambitious goals in a short time. Entrepreneurs are strong believers and their infectious belief can motivate you to step out of your comfort zone, even if it initially feels uncomfortable.
Being in a relationship with a business owner means occasionally venturing beyond your comfort zone. You'll occasionally find yourself in unfamiliar territory. But if you trust them and have seen their visions turn into reality, let them challenge you. Embrace the discomfort because it can lead to incredible rewards, building confidence and making life more exciting. Don't be afraid to embrace the push, and remember that you can push back too.
Tip #6: Embrace Their Belief in You
As I mentioned earlier, entrepreneurs are firm believers in life's possibilities and what individuals can achieve. Here's what's truly amazing when you're married to someone like this:
Their belief isn't limited to themselves. It extends to you.
They're not just champions of their dreams and visions. They're champions of people.
They excel at recognizing untapped potential in others—skills, abilities, desires—and bringing them to the forefront.
Over the course of our 20-year journey together, I've witnessed Justin's remarkable ability to believe in people. Time and time again, individuals have approached him, wondering how he accomplished what he has and seeking guidance on reaching their own aspirations. Justin doesn't just nod and say, "Oh, it worked for me because of this." No, he passionately tells them, "It can work for you too. Let me show you why."
What's even more incredible is that he often doesn't even have a personal stake in their goals. He just genuinely wants to help them realize that life is a game they can play, as he often emphasizes. It's about asking, "What are you willing to do? What are you willing to learn?"
Having someone like this in your corner, a staunch believer in you, your kids, your family, and even strangers, is a truly special thing. So, if you're in a relationship with such a believer, congratulations—they believe in you, and that's pretty darn cool.
Tip #7: Appreciate Their Problem-Solving Nature
So, you've married someone who thrives on solving problems - that's the essence of being a business owner. They're the go-to folks for tackling challenges. Here's where things get interesting:
Sometimes, they might want to solve your problems, even when you don't necessarily want them to.
They can get a bit frustrated when they can't solve other people's problems, especially if it's clear to them what needs to be done.
When you're married to a problem solver, you get the joy of witnessing their passion for finding solutions.
But there's a flip side to this dynamic:
You might also have to deal with some frustration when they can't solve certain problems or when they can't force others to address their own issues.
It's a unique journey where you both complement and challenge each other, experiencing the highs and lows of life together.
Navigating life with a problem-solving entrepreneur can be a rollercoaster, but it's a ride filled with growth, adventure, and endless learning opportunities.
Tip #8: The Art of Persuasion
Being married to an entrepreneur often means being married to a natural salesperson. They have a knack for selling their vision, ideas, and projects.
Justin excels at selling me his ideas, and sometimes, I find myself doing much of the work to bring those ideas to life. In the early days, he'd present his plans with determination, but I'd resist because they seemed too risky or unfamiliar. Over time, he's become more skilled at planting the seeds of his ideas and involving me in the decision-making process.
It's essential to remember that if your partner is persuasive, they might convince you to take on roles or responsibilities you didn't initially sign up for. They can also be skilled at selling their pain points, leading you to step in and handle certain tasks. So, it's crucial to maintain your own voice, preferences, and boundaries in your relationship and involvement in the business.
Whether you choose to be highly engaged in the business or prefer a different role, make sure it aligns with your own desires and strengths.
Tip #9: Managing Risk in Your Relationship
If you're married to someone more entrepreneurial than you, chances are they have a higher tolerance for risk. They're willing to take bigger daily risks, and sometimes, this can be stressful for you. Openly talking about risk is important to keep the peace. Here's how you can navigate this:
Identify Your Comfort Levels: First, both you and your partner should understand your individual levels of risk tolerance. This includes assessing how much risk you're comfortable with in terms of time, family, marriage, and finances.
Communication is Key: Have an honest conversation about your respective comfort levels and boundaries. Discuss how much money, time, or personal exposure you're willing to risk. Are you open to sharing personal aspects of your life on a podcast or social media, or do you prefer privacy?
Bridging the Gap: If there's a significant gap between your risk tolerance and your partner's, find ways to bridge it. Communication is crucial to ensure that disagreements over risk don't lead to frustration or contention in your relationship.
Support and Understanding: Understand that your partner's tolerance for risk may be higher for a reason. Be open to facing your own fears and consider the potential benefits of taking calculated risks. Sometimes, these risks are necessary for growth and progress.
Taking Calculated Risks: It's essential to take calculated risks and stay focused rather than trying to do too much at once. Building something meaningful often requires taking risks, but it should be a gradual process, not a rush to conquer the world overnight.
By discussing and aligning your risk tolerance with your partner's, you can better support each other in your entrepreneurial journey. This way, you'll avoid misunderstandings and conflicts that can arise when risks don't go as planned.
Tip #10: Balancing Act
Many business owners find it hard to manage their work and personal lives. They're constantly focused on their businesses, which demand a lot of time and energy. Switching from work to family mode can be tough, especially for those who work from home without a natural break like a commute.
This challenge doesn't just affect business owners. It also impacts their partners. It's crucial for both partners to figure out what balance means to them and work together to make sure their personal lives don't get overshadowed by their business commitments. By collaborating, you can find a way to balance work and family effectively.
Tip #11: Balancing Responsibilities in Business and Family Life
Tip number 10 is closely linked to tip number 11: Avoid losing yourself in the business. Sometimes, when a spouse starts a new business venture, they can get caught up in the work—pouring all their time and energy into it. In such situations, their partner may unintentionally let them focus solely on the business while taking care of everything else—household chores, personal needs, and family matters.
But, this approach can lead to disconnection and exhaustion for both partners. The demands of a business can feel never-ending, with countless tasks and ideas. To avoid this, set boundaries early on.
Waiting for the "perfect moment" to discuss your needs may never come because there's always another project on the horizon. Remember, the business should support the family, not the other way around.
Tip #12: Nurturing Your Relationship Alongside Your Business
Tip number 12 is about nurturing your relationship while you invest time and energy into your business. This doesn't happen on its own; it requires intention and effort. You must be deliberate about spending quality time together to keep your relationship strong and vibrant. Here are some ideas:
Regular Date Nights: Going on dates once or twice a week has been beneficial as our kids have grown older, allowing for quality one-on-one time.
Prioritize Couple Time: Whether during busy work trips or family vacations, finding moments for just the two of you is crucial, even during extended travels.
Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries to protect personal time, creating periods free from business discussions to focus on shared interests and connections.
Early Bedtimes: Teaching your kids good sleep habits ensures evenings for yourselves, offering quality time and preventing exhaustion.
Nurture Your Relationship: While your partner can't be your sole source of happiness, building and maintaining a strong marriage with someone who cares about you can make life exceptionally enjoyable.
Remember, a thriving marriage is the cornerstone of a fulfilling life journey. So, nurture your relationship, invest in each other, and enjoy the incredible adventure of marriage.
Tip #13: Define Roles and Responsibilities
Consider assigning specific responsibilities within your family, household, or business. These roles can help streamline tasks and reduce potential friction.
For instance, my parents had distinct roles when I was growing up. My dad took care of cars, lawn mowing, tech issues, while my mom handled cooking, cleaning, and appointments. Both of them worked, but these roles helped things run smoothly.
However, when I married Justin, I expected him to follow the same role division, which led to frustration. We never discussed who was good at what or who was willing to handle certain tasks. So, it's essential to sit down and allocate responsibilities. Understand each other's strengths and preferences, and be willing to adapt as circumstances change, like your kids growing up.
Tip #14: Dealing with Loneliness
Marriage to an entrepreneur can sometimes feel lonely. They often prioritize their business, leaving you with independence and responsibility, especially in managing family matters. This situation teaches you to rely on yourself, communicate clearly, and meet your own needs in a healthy way.
Remember, your spouse isn't responsible for fulfilling all your desires or fixing your inner voids. Both of you should work on your own happiness and confidence, which benefits your relationship.
It's essential to embrace your individuality while sharing life with someone different from you. So, if you ever feel lonely, focus on self-development and open communication with your partner to maintain a strong connection, all without placing unrealistic burdens on them. Share your life, but always prioritize taking care of yourself.
Tip #15: Keep Learning
Marriage isn't just about love. It's a continuous learning journey. Sometimes, we think marriage will be easy because we love our partner, but it can be quite complex.
Justin and I have gone to therapy, attended classes, and joined training to make our marriage even better. These resources helped us become better versions of ourselves and improve our relationship.
Training isn't about changing your partner. It's about self-improvement to make your partnership stronger. Your daily choices play a big role in your marriage, so I make an effort every day to choose both my relationship and self-improvement.
Keep educating yourself, as there's a lot of knowledge out there that can make your relationship better. Embrace the journey of marriage, and take advantage of all the opportunities for growth in this information age.
Tip #16: Foster Your Own Dreams
Sometimes, your partner may have really big dreams, and these dreams can seem all-consuming, making you feel like your own aspirations are fading away. But it's essential to remember that you have your own unique dreams and hopes.
For instance, when I met Justin, he had this inner vision that he's now expressing through Millionaire University. However, I've always had my own dreams and hopes, and they coexist with Millionaire University and my personal life.
I continue to pursue my interests because it's vital not to let his significant dreams overshadow mine to the point where I lose sight of who I am, my purpose, and my goals. I have my thoughts, dreams, and objectives that deserve their own space and attention.
Tip #17: Nurturing Individual Aspirations in a Partnership
It's perfectly okay to have different dreams from your partner, whether they're grand or straightforward.
Currently, my aspirations are simple: focusing on conquering my travel anxiety during a nine-month trip. Traveling, which many find exciting, has been a personal challenge for me. I'm determined to overcome my past baggage and find peace in various situations. I aim to be better at relationships and show up in life the way I want.
Whether your goals are big or small, never be ashamed of them. Your dreams are valid, and you should invest time and energy in pursuing them, even if they differ from your spouse's goals. Embrace your dreams, believe in them, and go after them confidently. Your unique dreams and aspirations matter.
Tip #18: Appreciating Each Other's Worlds in Marriage
In a marriage where both partners are working hard in their own worlds, whether at home or in their careers, it's essential to acknowledge and value each other's efforts. When you both understand and appreciate the unique challenges and sacrifices you both make, it strengthens your connection.
While Justin and I are deeply involved in our business and family lives, it's easier for us to appreciate each other because we share these experiences. However, if you struggle to grasp your spouse's world, try to make an effort and show your appreciation, even when they're extremely busy or passionate about their pursuits. For example:
Prioritize open and honest communication to prevent small issues from piling up and harming your relationship.
Have the courage to address what's bothering you and work together to find solutions.
Don't hesitate to seek resources and support when facing challenges in your partnership.
Embrace the profound experience of sharing your life with someone who continues to choose you, even during life's ups and downs.
Cherish the incredible journey you're embarking on together in your marriage.
Tip #19: Supporting Your Partner's Ambitions
In your marriage, your partner is dedicated to building something important and taking care of your family. This commitment can sometimes lead to feelings of guilt, as they work hard on their business while also balancing family and marriage responsibilities.
Recognize that your partner aims for success in various aspects of life, such as their business, your marriage, family relationships, health, and personal growth. They might feel guilty when they can't excel in all these areas at once. It's crucial to express your appreciation, provide support, and remind them of your love during these moments of self-doubt.
Tip #20: Cultivating Friendship in Your Marriage
As you work together, it's important to keep in mind that your partner is also your best friend. The business should not get in the way of your personal life, but it should also help you with it. Treat your partner like a friend—share laughter, flirt, spend quality time together, and genuinely appreciate each other.
I've been married to an entrepreneur for nearly two decades, and it's been an incredible journey. Justin and I have shared countless experiences that have shaped us in profound ways. We've celebrated achievements, navigated challenges, and watched our children grow. We continue to do life together, imperfectly, making mistakes, and showing up for each other, whether we're at our best or simply going through the motions.
So, for those of you in a relationship with a business owner or an entrepreneur, whether it's you or your spouse, remember the importance of nurturing the friendship at the core of your partnership.
So Here's to Your Incredible Journey Ahead!
I hope these tips help you in your journey together. Remember that you're important both as individuals and as a partnership, and your family and business matter. Your unique dreams are meaningful, so enjoy the ride, keep learning, and take breaks when needed.
Being with an entrepreneur can be challenging but comes with incredible perks. Always remember to embrace the journey, cherish your relationships, and love your partner to the fullest.
Don’t Miss Out!
Now, it's your turn to put these invaluable tips into practice. Whether you or your partner are embarking on a business journey or already in the midst of an entrepreneurial adventure, consider taking advantage of our FREE BUSINESS COURSE to give you a head start! And for more podcasting awesomeness, tune in to Episode 31: Turning Weaknesses Into Strengths and How to Get the Results You Want - Millionaire Mentor Interview With Ray Higdon.