Being an entrepreneur’s spouse sounds interesting and exciting to youngsters as entrepreneurship is the new ‘in’ thing. But it might not be as simple as it seems. There are entrepreneurs who talk about their failed marriages and their attempts towards saving them. When they should be thinking about their entrepreneurial survival, marriage becomes priority.
While entrepreneurs are special breeds, their spouses are no less and hence they should understand that it’s their love and support which makes a successful startup. Adaptation is the key to survival. Besides the usual travails of starting up, there are five more important things spouses should adapt to.
Speak less, listen more
Entrepreneurs love talking - about their self-proclaimed amazing startup; their failed endeavours; or the next round of funding. Talk to them about anything related to the latest startups, and even Google can be beaten. If their enthusiasm is to be rated in the morning and in the evening, while they talk, there would be zero variance. Hence, being a good listener is expected of a spouse. Entrepreneurs love being heard. They might even judge your love for them if you’re a poor listener. Or if you don’t listen, your caring quotient could be taken for a zero. Try speaking and acting as a critic, and it wouldn’t be taken less than a doubt on their intellect. Yes, they are narcissists.
Optimism drives success. The hope a startup begins with is based on nothing but optimism. The rest comes later. Entrepreneurs are affirmative people, and they love being around similar people. They might become a circumstantial pessimist, but they expect their spouse to be on the top of Mount Everest of positivity. Your negative or pessimistic attitude curtails the motivation of your entrepreneurial spouse. You need to sound optimistic. This will keep the tempo of your ambitious entrepreneur high, and make you the hand behind their successful startup.
The word ‘normal’ should not exist in your dictionary. Entrepreneurs are abnormal, #so are their stints. For them, a perfect weekend is a startup event; -a perfect Sunday is reading about startups. For them, the most beautiful gift is a startup idea. And if it is tech-based, you’re surely to be treated to a list of angel investors. Accept that your ‘entrepreneur’ spouse is abnormal. Abnormality is the new normality.
What turns an entrepreneur off is your idea of spending money on anything but a business idea. You hear about 'sale’ and say 'yay,’- but they are turned off. Solution: Be frugal. You must avoid the temptation of going shopping. You need to manage your finances well. You never know when your cash flow is going to be negative. A penny saved is a penny earned.
It does feel bad to drive around in a second-hand Maruti 800 when your friend owns a Honda City. So what? Ignore comparison. Stop comparing the spouses of others with yours. They might be earning handsome salaries with awesome perks, but the courage to start and create deserves equal respect too. Entrepreneurs are creators. Love them.
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Loving your entrepreneur spouse from the bottom of your heart would not only help her (or him) earn respect, but will also help you keep going. Simple things, if followed, would not only save your marriage, but make your life happy. Yes, go try.
About the guest author:
Shweta Choudhary Judge's ‘Happiness Quotient’ is at an all time high now, while pursuing her passion for writing. Her first fiction planned was 'Being Shahrukh's Fan', but after getting married to an entrepreneur, 'Being an Entrepreneur's Wife' became her priority. Her days are spent looking for ideas to start her own venture and a reason for a sequel to be called- 'Being an Entrepreneur, from an Entrepreneur's Wife.'‘Being an Entrepreneur's Wife’ is a tale that talks about the destructive
effects that entrepreneurship, the all consuming and at times narcissistic entrepreneurial journey, can place on personal relationships. It’s a tale of surviving the entrepreneurial bondage; a tale of love and dreams. The book is available on Amazon and Flipkart.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)