18 Jul 4 Entrepreneurs Share Their Love Lessons Learned While Building Their Businesses
Entrepreneurship is the new black and for Black America there’s an increase of women and men who are leaving Corporate America to create our own opportunities, but being an entrepreneur is no easy feat. It’s a 24 hour and 7 days a week undertaking that according to the National Women’s Business Council, over 1,531,494 black women endure. With the time commitment a business owner devotes to their company, how or when are they balancing their love lives with their business endeavors?
Imagine running a business with your spouse and learning how to maintain hours of quality time away from the office. Maybe you are a regular on the dating scene, but those who are interested in you don’t understand your hustle and you can’t seem to live up to their expectations for your relationship. Balancing your love life while running a business can lead to healthy long lasting relationships if your partner is understanding and there’s a commitment to make things work. At my recent networking mixer for young entrepreneurs and professionals called Lemons 2 Lemonade Mixer, four entrepreneurs who are in different stages of their love lives shared their experience as they navigate the world of dating and marriage. Here is some of their advice on how they maintain their love lives while building their empires and their thoughts on what it takes to be with an entrepreneur:
Quality Time is Key
Being in a committed relationship can be a challenge for entrepreneurs who have to manage their commitments to their companies and their significant others. Jacques Bastien, the CEO and founder of boogie and SHADE, runs his businesses with his wife Dahcia who oversees business strategy as vice president. “Every single day we would lay down next to each other and talk about how much we missed one another because we don’t get to spend personal time together,” Jacques shared. The couple spends 24 hours of the day together, but while working together they struggled to find time for their relationship. Recently they made the decision to close down their three offices for a remote business model that could help with the quality time they spend together. “Your time is valuable and balance is key. You can spend all day together, but makes sure it’s quality, one on one time,” shared Jacques. With their new remote model, the couple can worry less about managing office spaces and now make plans for baecations with the option to work on the beach.
Understand Your Partner’s Expectations for Love
Love can mean several things to different people and the way they receive love can look different for each person. Some people like quality time, others like to be touch, and there are those who receive love through material things. “Be clear on how your significant other wants to be loved. Learn to reciprocate in their love language, and be consistent,” advised Elitia Mattox, CEO of When Love Works. Not only is Elitia helping singles find love and coaching couples, but she does this while running her company with her husband Cullen. Running her relationship coaching services with her husband comes with understanding how they each want to be loved. Entrepreneurs have to find a way to meet their partner’s expectations of love to keep the flames burning. Sending gifts, scheduling date nights, having dinner together every night are just a few ways to ensure you are maintaining your end of the relationship. “Spending two hours a week with someone is not what you call love. The work that we do really pushes you to hone into what you call ‘love’. So if your significant other is asking for quality time, they are asking for uninterrupted time without the computer and the phone calls,” explained Elitia.
Use Tools & Apps to Help Manage Your Time
There’s no shame in scheduling time with your significant other. When you are a busy entrepreneur who’s time is stretched to the max, penciling your mandatory date night or electronic gadget shutdown is a must in order to balance your relationships and business. “Use your calendar! Schedule in quality time with your significant other,” Elitia shared. Google calendar and other scheduling apps can be a lifesaver in remembering the precious moments you have planned with your partner. “Google calendar works for me, but some people may need a timer to go off on their phones or smart watches to remind them,” Elitia added. Whatever method works for you, just make sure the time spent together is without distraction.
Be With Someone Who Gets It
“Be an understanding partner,” shared Joi-Marie McKenzie. If you are going to date an entrepreneur you have to be empathetic to their schedule, obligations and a champion to their ambitions and business goals. The author of The Engagement Game has had her fair share of dating men who did not understand her schedule and obligations to be on the scene as an entertainment journalist and founder of the website The Fab Empire. “You want to be with people who will understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur. My ex and I had long nights of arguments, and now we are missing our quality time together because you couldn’t understand” she explained.
Don’t Compete for Their Attention
If you are dating an entrepreneur, avoid competing with them or their business. Ultimatums aren’t going to fly when people have bills to pay and their staff’s livelihood is at stake. Instead of competing with their businesses try putting some of your free time into a hobby or side hustle of your own. There may also be a chance to use your expertise to add value to their business or help out when you see your partner drowning in work. Travis Weekes, founder of Driven Society wants a woman who has her own goals and ambitions. “Having your own passion is key,” he shared. A turn on for this bachelor is one he has experienced while dating. He likes having a significant other who has their own hustle. He also found that conversations and pillow talk was more engaging when they could each vibe off of one another’s passion projects.
As an entrepreneur, your time is valuable as you date you want to make sure you are spending those precious moments with the right person. Now that entrepreneurship has become the new sexy, you also want to make sure the person who is dating you is not trying to use you for your network, networth or social following. “You have to strengthen your screening process!” Elitia advised. “Know your preferences and non-negotiables, so you recognize them when you see them in someone.”
No matter what stage you are in your love life, take the summer to start making time for your love life.
Also published on Medium.