So, you’ve started dating someone who calls themselves an entrepreneur? This post is either going to be really revealing or really familiar! Maybe you’re actually married to one, in which case none of the below should come as a surprise and you should find yourself nodding and smiling as you read on!
There are people out there that want life to be predictable. They’re more than okay with a 9-5 job, dinner with the family every night by 6, and on the couch to watch Netflix from 7 until bedtime. They love the certainty of life.
Then, there are people who enjoy rollercoasters, skydiving, and anything else that makes you feel about as stable as an earthquake on top of a volcano. These people love the uncertainty of life.
It’s the latter kind of person that best describes an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs are ambitious, driven, innovative, and perhaps a little eccentric in their own, weird way. Whilst these attributes and character traits can make them fun and exciting to be around, dating or being married to an entrepreneur comes with its own set of rules that will help you understand some of those more eccentric (or weird!) behaviours that they display from time-to-time.
While it can be incredibly fulfilling to be with an entrepreneur, it may also drive you a little bit up the wall!
Read on for a more light-hearted insight into what to expect if you’re dating an entrepreneur…
What To Expect When Dating An Entrepreneur
For partners of entrepreneurs, there can be a lot to handle and your dating life may take a different course than usual. Of course, business owners and entrepreneurs can make wonderful wives and husbands, but there are some things to consider when you start dating an entrepreneur or business owner.
1. An annoying lack of work-life balance
Many of us try to create a healthy work/life balance which allows enough downtime to relax and unwind with our loved ones. For entrepreneurs, however, their business is a full-time commitment and priority, with their minds always switched on to opportunities and work-related thoughts. Even when an entrepreneur isn’t physically at work (which we are a lot of the time), our mind is still focused on work.
Whether it’s a weekend, a holiday or even a family celebration, don’t be surprised to find your partner on the phone to their team or ensconced in the corner behind a laptop or smartphone sneakily dealing with emails or writing a blog post. Now, this isn’t exactly healthy for a relationship and there should definitely be boundaries put in place to avoid this becoming an issue, but I’m saying this because the default for most entrepreneurs to fill some empty time will be to fire up their laptop and deal with something from their to-do list.
Entrepreneurs live to work, not the other way around, so this is something you’ll need to be prepared for if you’re marrying an entrepreneur or dating one.
2. Expect the unexpected
For anyone who hates their job (usually, the typical 9-5’er) they often complain that a strong work focus is a boring or dull routine to have, but you couldn’t be more wrong. You’ll find that entrepreneurs are sometimes over-the-top passionate about their work, something many 9-5’ers simply cannot understand because they don’t feel the same levels of passion for their work.
An entrepreneur often operates in cutting-edge industries, paving the way for the rest of us to follow. With daily changes to how business is being done these days, you never know what will happen next. If you’re dating an entrepreneur, they may be called away on a business trip suddenly, get an unexpected opportunity to meet industry leaders or simply need to be in the office for all the hours possible during the latest product launch. Whilst it’s not always easy to make plans in advance, being in a relationship with an entrepreneur is ideal if you love a bit of spontaneity and surprises along the way!
3. No small talk here. Focus on the bigger picture
Today’s entrepreneurs aren’t just focused on creating business empires and achieving financial freedom, they’re on a mission to change the world. The rise of social enterprise has given entrepreneurs a new-found opportunity to bring positive changes to the world through their businesses. Complementing an entrepreneur’s outlook, your partner will regularly get passionately involved in big issues, societal changes, and world-enhancing movements.
Inspiring? Absolutely. Frustrating? Maybe just a bit. You may want some downtime with your partner or simply want to deal with the minutiae of day-to-day life, but getting them to concentrate on some of the smaller issues of life can be somewhat of a challenge!
Discussing the weather and traffic is okay at the water cooler with coworkers, but such topic matter with your entrepreneurial love interest will be as successful as selling them on getting punched in the face.
Don’t take it personally when we meander as you go into great detail about your preferred brand of granola or favourite restaurant. You must consider that far more weighty responsibilities rest upon our shoulders (or at least we think so!).
While many people place great prominence on life’s minutiae, we – as entrepreneurs – are always thinking big picture and how to leave our imprint on the world.
In saying that, when the weekend rolls around, and you’re excited about date night, be sure to think ‘macro’ and not ‘micro’ for your discussion material. That doesn’t mean you should only be talking about our stuff. If someone doesn’t care about what’s important to you, that’s not because they’re an entrepreneur, it’s because they’re a narcissist. Instead, talk about more significant issues that impact the world around us. Enthral us with engaging conversations about your deepest ambitions – we want to see what lights your fire.
4. Keeping it simple and laser-focused
At their core, entrepreneurs are problem-solvers and they’re always trying to turn life’s complex issues into easy-to-resolve solutions.
In fact, it’s this attitude which leads entrepreneurs to conjure up ideas which turn into new products and services which they offer to the world. Of course, dating or marrying an entrepreneur has its perks and this is certainly one of them. Always keen to solve issues and minimise problems, your loved one will be keen to offer advice and creative solutions when you come up against an issue.
Whilst this can be helpful, supportive and caring, it may get a little frustrating when you just want to have a moan about your day!
5. Find beauty in solitude
Whoever said “it takes two strong individuals to make a great couple” meant it doubly for relationships with an entrepreneur.
Whether you’ve just started dating an entrepreneur or you’re thinking about taking the next step and marrying an entrepreneur, you should be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time apart. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but entrepreneurs often have to travel in order to meet with clients, industry leaders and business partners, so it can feel like you’re in a long-distance relationship more often than not. Our spouses or significant others require enough strength and self-assuredness to know things will work out even if we aren’t always around.
Of course, it’s easy to stay in touch when you’re partners away thanks to the technology we have available to us like FaceTime and WhatsApp, but long-distance relationships aren’t always easy especially if you see your partner as ‘living the life’ by travelling regularly to new places whilst you’re stuck at home looking after the kids or in that 9-5 you hate.
To combat these long-distance hurdles, an unflappable sense of belief in the power and positivity in your relationship is necessary. Clingy people with a desire to spend every waking moment with their partner are barking up the wrong tree with an entrepreneur.
6. Maintain your own interests
Learning how to date an entrepreneur can be tricky, but there are some helpful tips when can keep you sane! Entrepreneurs typically lead busy, eventful lives which are hard to predict. If your partner suddenly gets a free slot in their schedule, it’s natural that you’ll want to change your own plans in order to spend time with them.
However, your interests, work life and hobbies are just as important and it’s vital you maintain them. Whilst it’s normal to switch up your routine sometimes, don’t ditch friends or suddenly drop out of plans if your partner suddenly becomes available.
By valuing your time and your commitments, you’re showing that your schedule is just as important as your partners’.
7. Living on a budget
People tend to associate entrepreneurs with big budgets, sprawling mansions, and luxury cars…but it doesn’t all happen overnight. Although entrepreneurship can absolutely bring financial freedom, the reality is that you could spend many years living on a tight budget first, which can be hard on your relationship and on your family. In fact, entrepreneurs tend to divert their savings, earnings and spare change into their latest endeavour, so there’s never much left over for life’s little luxuries!
I believe this pressure to bring in money faster is one of the number one reasons entrepreneurs don’t stick it out for long enough and end up going back to a more traditional employed status in order to bring some money in whilst they try to work on their business as a side hustle. This hardly ever works, in my opinion, which is a sad thing for me to see people have to give up a dream because of financial pressure to provide for their family. It’s one of the reasons why starting a business in your early 20’s is so much easier.
8. Be ready to strive for greatness
Unless you want to set off a chain reaction of work, design, production and problem solving, don’t use the word impossible around entrepreneurs! Entrepreneurs thrive on challenges, and telling them something is impossible is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. The lure will be too difficult to resist and before you know it, your partner will be off on a tangent trying to prove you wrong. For entrepreneurs, nothing is ever impossible and they’ll spend their lives proving it.
To some, ‘good enough’ is good enough. A comfortable salary, benefits, and a roof over your head might be all you’re looking for; and that’s totally fine – unless you’re with an entrepreneur. The very nature of what we do as entrepreneurs is not settling for what’s comfortable and – for lack of better phrasing – reaching for the stars.
The entirety of our lives has been spent breaking our backs, looking to accomplish greatness. Never, at any point, has second-best been okay. If we’ve ever come up short, we didn’t take it lying down. We improved and ensured the story ended in triumph.
We want to spend our lives with the kind of person that doesn’t take no for an answer and pushes boundaries with us. Think Sid and Nancy or Bonnie and Clyde, but without the lawbreaking/death and with the desire to take what’s ours as a bonded unit.
9. Embrace entrepreneurship
Although your partner’s life is going to be overtaken by their latest social enterprise, business or invention…yours will be too.
Inevitably, you’ll be there for the ups and downs, the 3am emails, rushed goodbyes at the airport and frantic budget planning sessions. If you’re prepared to jump on board and commit yourself to the cause, dating an entrepreneur could be the right decision.
10. Learn to love change
Entrepreneurs are all about change, and you’ll need to be too. Whether it’s the latest product, business idea or industry development, an entrepreneur will want to learn about it, improve it and bring new changes to their own version. As soon as one goal has been achieved, another is right there waiting so be prepared for a never-ending cycle of creative ideas, business creation, and innovation.
So you still want to date an entrepreneur?
It’s only a rare few humans that can force themselves to wake up at 4am every morning and work late into the night while smiling the whole way through. That’s entrepreneurs to a tee. We’re a unique breed, and we’re proud of it.
Plus, when most people would give up because they’re just too tired to push forward, we find that little extra bit of desire and grit to keep ploughing ahead with any project.
Some people may be scared of such intensity and focus. We suggest those people steer clear of entrepreneurs when looking for a romantic partner.
You may have read this blog and conclude that there are plenty of sacrifices to make when embarking on a relationship with an entrepreneur – which is 100% correct. Don’t let it deter you, just be ready to rise to the occasion!
So there you have it – what to expect when you date or marry an entrepreneur! Although dating an entrepreneur can be a little challenging at times, it can be surprising, exciting and satisfying too. Spending time with entrepreneurs gives you the chance to see the world through their eyes, which can be inspiring and stimulating. If you’re committed to your relationship, ready to do things a little differently and willing to cut your partner more than a little slack, then dating an entrepreneur might just be the most exciting journey of your life!