02 August 2014

Persevering in Your Entrepreneurial Marriage

No doubt you've heard it before, that perseverance is the key to success in entrepreneurship. History is full of examples of entrepreneurs who have accomplished great things because they were able to persevere in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. An outsider may not be thinking that having to persevere someone who constantly perseveres would be a challenge, but if you are married to an Entrepreneur then you understand that statement completely.

Perseverance is also the key to success in an Entrepreneurial Marriage. 

There came a point in my marriage that I realized that this love of all things Entrepreneurial wasn't just a fad, or a phase, and that it wasn't going away anytime soon. 

This wasn't exactly an easy thing to accept for me.

Of course I believed in my Entrepreneur. And in his ability to create something great. But I hadn't bargained for the endless stress of an entrepreneurial life and quite honestly I wasn't sure I wanted to be a willing volunteer. Which left me with a decision to face: Was I in?

At some point, every Entrepreneur's spouse will have to face this decision; in fact, you may have to face this question on more than one occasion. So ask yourself...are you in?

Are you in if it takes 8 years for the business to become profitable? What about 12?
Are you in when friends or family doubt your vision? 
Or when people ask if your Entrepreneur is ever going to get a real job?
Are you in when your friends and family have money for new cars, new homes or grand family vacations and all of your funds are going "back into the company"?

Are you in when your Entrepreneur's work week is more like a no break from work week?
Are you in if Entrepreneurship means little or no spouse time?
Are you in if Entrepreneurship means your Entrepreneur misses piano recitals, 
Are you in if you have to close the doors and start all over? once. or twice.

For years I was hopeful I could commit to this challenge, but I haven't always been completely confident. It has taken a few successes, and few failures as well, to help me decide and here is where I stand...

I'm in because I am married and, for better or for worse, I have made a commitment to that. 

I'm in because I have children to raise and they deserve parents who are willing to have enough courage to climb out of bed every day and work towards something that they believe in. 

I'm in because it is this very passion and courage that make people great, companies succeed and economies thrive.

Now... being in doesn't mean that there are no limits. It also doesn't mean that Entrepreneurship comes first every time. And if it gets to the point where this love of Entrepreneurship is threatening the marriage or the family to the point of breaking, then there needs to be an intervention. 

Perseverance is about commitment, hard work, patience and endurance. To persevere is to commit to anything undertaken; maintain your purpose in spite of challenges, difficulty, or discouragement and to continue steadfastly. 

My Entrepreneur is choosing to do that. 
The best gift I can give him is to be willing to do the same.

Perseverance is Being In.