It’s something we don’t talk about much, but it’s something that’s so utterly critical to our success and so many of us struggle with it: relationships. Yup, I’m talking nitty gritty relationships whether it’s your spouse, family, or friends, relationships can get tricky to navigate when you decide to be a dream chaser and take risks.
Today I want to share some of things I’ve learned in my six years of entrepreneurship and hopefully cast a light on something that a lot of us are walking through alone. While I’ll likely relate a lot of this to my husband, Drew, I’ll be sharing things that will help you with any relationship as you jump into your own entrepreneurial story.
IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR SUPPORT:
When you decide to take a leap towards your dreams, you might experience some serious push back, a lot of doubt, and questions about uncertainty. Please know that it’s likely your friends and family are only looking out for you – but also be ready to defend your decisions. It’s scary to make bold moves or to step out on your own. Let people know that you are going after this (regardless of if they think it’s best) and don’t be afraid to communicate how they can support your decisions.
Not everyone will understand and that’s okay! They might not be meant to. It’s your job to be fully invested and take people on the journey who are excited to support you. If you find yourself on the defense, take a breath, keep your mouth shut and let your success be proof that you were right all along.
SET VERY CLEAR BOUNDARIES:
One of the BEST pieces of advice I can give is to set very clear boundaries and stick to them. I’ve witnessed so many people put their relationship on the back burner in order to pursue their dreams, heck I’m SO guilty of this one. When I had zero semblance of work/life balance it negatively impacted my relationships. From working on family weekends to ignoring Drew and his needs because I had “just one more email” to get through.
If you can create a way to keep work at work or have actual business hours, it will save you stress. Of course, you have to be flexible but being attached to your business 24/7 (and not your partner) can make them feel like second fiddle. You started chasing this dream so that you likely could be more present and more free – don’t make your business your life, craft your life around your business.
INVITE PEOPLE ON YOUR JOURNEY:
It feels weird, doesn’t it? Thinking about your college roomie or your sister reading your posts as you’re attempting to navigate how the heck to be a business owner or share your passion in a way that will someday lead to profits. I remember cringing as I would write up posts trying to gain even the littlest bit of traction on my business but you know what I realized? If my own family and friends weren’t in on my journey and supporting it, why would strangers be?
Sure it feels odd, but don’t be afraid to share your story with your friends and family whether it’s through social media, an email list, or blogging. It helps people know what you’re doing, let’s them in on your big goals, and invites them to celebrate milestones with you along the way. Each day, I would try to tell Drew something awesome that happened in my business (even if he didn’t fully understand it!) so that he could back me up and celebrate with me. He didn’t need every little detail but it gave him a glimpse into my life.
COMMUNICATING YOUR NEEDS:
Have you ever let the stress of your business bubble over to your relationships? Yeah, I thought so. I used to let one little thing that happened in my day impact my life – yup, lesson learned, it’s not fun. I’ve gotten better at actually communicating my needs to Drew to let him know what’s going on, how he can help, what he can do (if anything) or just asking him to pray with me.
Going into busy weeks, I let him know well in advance that I’m going to need extra help around the house whether it’s keeping the dogs quiet or making dinner or even just being my personal wine man, it’s totally helped to block off scheduled dates so that we aren’t both crazy busy at the same time and can support each other and just taking a step back to compartmentalize work and life helps save us from the stress of letting them intermingle and mix.
EVERYTHING HAS A SEASON:
I’ve started to look at my business and relationships as seasons – for everything there is a season. We definitely go through seasons of harvest and seasons of planting. Sound hilarious? It is but it’s true. Over the years we’ve really learned how to work with each others schedules and we’ve majorly adjusted to both of us working from home.
We work out together, eat lunch together, and set goal times to be finished for the night. We generally work in different rooms of the house to give each other some space (and to actually miss each other) We also do a devotional every night together and try and take Sunday’s fully off from work so we can just rest and be together. There have been definite seasons of hustle and seasons of rest.
TAKE TIME OFF:
You need to rest and relax together! Take a vacation and leave your work at home. Set up an auto responder and commit to taking a step away, it’s absolutely freeing and trust that you’ve built something that won’t crumble in a weeks time. In order to be your best self for your business and your relationships, take time off, vacation, enjoy one another’s company and be fully present.
Relationships are tricky, complicated, and can really be hard to navigate especially with an entrepreneurial life. Never forget what is truly important in your life and how you can always put people over your work! Your biggest impact will be in how you make people feel – not what you say to them. Never be too busy to grab coffee, visit with friends, or hit up a date night. Your friends and family will feel so valued and you’ll keep your priorities in check if you keep up with your relationships even when the hustle hits.