02 June 2011

Lesson #1 on Marriage and Entrepreneurship: The Art of Balance

Learning to balance the elements of life is challenging for any marriage.
Add a business or startup to the mix, and things can get really complicated.
One of the hardest aspects of Entrepreneurship is understanding the art of balance.

When people typically think of the word "balance", they tend to believe that balance means to make equal. This would make sense because balance also means equilibrium or to stabilize, which...let's be honest...anything with the word "stability" in it wouldn't exactly be an Entrepreneur's forte.

Balance in the sense of Entrepreneurship is like a Yoga pose.

Take a look at the pictures below:


Would you consider each picture equally balanced?

Consider these elements:
They are both being supported by only one leg.
One side looks like it is holding greater weight than the other.
Different muscles are required to work harder than others.
 And yet there is balance.

When it comes to balancing things like money, time, energy and attention in an Entrepreneurial marriage, understand that Balance does not mean Equality. It simply means management. Management is the act of getting together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. This often means giving up individual preferences and desires. 

This takes practice.

Like Marriage and Entreprenurism, holding any particular yoga pose isn't easy and there are constant adjustments because there are so many variables. Sometimes with just the smallest adjustment we fall over. We get tired. We feel weak. Sometimes we feel like we are carrying more weight that the other side, and sometimes we are asked to stretch in ways that we didn't think were possible (or good for our health for that matter). It can be exhausting, it can be time consuming and it can be down right difficult, but there is greatness in this type of growth and the strength does develop. Through each movement we become more flexible and through each pose more centered and eventually we balance.

For me, balance means that when we have time together as a family we focus on quality of time not quantity of hours.

For me, balance means that although holding a full-time job while my children are still little is not my preference, it does allow my Enterpreneur the opportunity to create and develop our startup, which is indeed our desired goal.

For me, balance means we don't have a traditional family structure because he cooks dinners, takes care of the kids and works at night while I am employed for 40+ hours a week.

But since when are Entrepreneurs "traditional" anyway?

Discuss your goals with your Entrepreneur. What are the core elements and goals of your marriage as a partnership, for you as individuals and for your future in Entrepreneurship?
 Figure them out and then focus on balancing everything else, not to make things equal, but to make things possible. If you know how to stick to your core, I believe you will find that you are able to hold things together a lot longer than you think.