21 March 2013

Don't Cure the Entrepreneur.

If there is one question I get asked over and over again it is this: When does my desire for security or stability or you-fill-in-the-blank-with-some-qualifiying-state-of-existance, outweigh my Entrepreneur's desire for pursing their passion?

As spouses of entrepreneurs, we don't want to kill the dream (or the dreamer for that matter). We don't want to be the reason that someone, aka our entrepreneur, doesn't achieve their potential. We don't want to thwart their passion or creativity or talent, BUT we would like some piece of mind when it comes to being able to afford groceries next week, let alone college in 5 years. We are curious if we will ever really be able to pay off the house, afford self-employed health insurance or if we can plan 4 months in advance and sign the kids up for summer camp. (Fill in your latest concern/expense/stress here: __________________. ) And life with an entrepreneur doesn't always provide warm fuzzies to those types of concerns. (Truth be told, desk jobs don't always either, but that's another post.)

There is a point in Entrepreneurial Marriages at which dreams hit reality and quite often that reality check comes in the form of the entrepreneurs' other half. Now obviously I won't be able to answer the question posed above for you...I wouldn't want to make myself liable for marriages and entrepreneurial ventures around the world. :) BUT I can say I've been there. So, in lieu of an answer I will provide some insight and here it is:

Don't seek to cure. Seek to curb. Not to restrict your Entrepreneur, but to protect your marriage. Remember the purpose of a curb is to provide a barrier. So define your edge and get curbing. You do that by discussing and addressing expectations, desires, limits, commitment and level of investment, both financial and emotional. And no book or magazine, or blog for that matter, can tell you where that edge is in your marriage. That edge gets defined by you and your Entrepreneur. That edge will provide room for your entrepreneur to explore and room for you to breathe. And while no one is perfect, the rims on most cars can attest to that, when you both know where the curb is the ride is much, much more enjoyable.