We have all been here – feeling as if we have to choose between our business and our marriage. It feels as if there are just not enough hours in the day or days in the week to get everything done that needs to get done in our business AND have time for our husband and kids. So what many of us do is “steal” time away from our marriages and/or family to work on our business. I use the word “steal” because that is, in fact, what we are doing when we spend time working on our business that really should be spent enjoying our spouses and our family.

Does this sound familiar? We tell our partner we need a few more minutes to finish up a project or to return an e-mail or make just one more phone call. The next thing you know, these few more minutes have turned into a couple of hours and we have spent very little time with our partner. What happens is a quiet resentment starts to build in our partner toward our business — often spreading into our relationship; not to even mention the guilt we feel over not spending enough time with the kids.

Following are 3 secrets for keeping your relationship strong as you run — and grow – your business.

  1. Create Clear Boundaries of Time. Entrepreneurs are notorious for working way too many hours. Because we are passionate about our work — time spent working on our business really seems to fly for us. To avoid losing track of time and falling prey to working morning, noon and night, create a clear time schedule for your work hours and work only during those hours. Otherwise, you could easily fall into the trap of working all the time. I have worked with women whose marriages have been severely damaged because they failed to set clear time boundaries for their work; or they set up a time schedule but ignored it.
  2. Create Clear Boundaries of Space. If you are an entrepreneurial woman who works from home, it is imperative that you create a separate office within your home. Do not allow your bedroom, kitchen or family room to masquerade as your work space. Remember, your office is supposed to be a work space within your home. When your office takes over your home, it sends a message to your partner that your work has taken over your life. Your partner wants to be married to you — not your business.
  3. Prioritize your relationship. Many women seem to believe that romance with their husbands’ should be spontaneous — otherwise it doesn’t count. Many people are under the false impression that scheduling special time with your partner disqualifies it from being special. Nothing could be further from the truth. Entrepreneurial women must prioritize their marriages so their husband’s know they do not put their business before their relationship. As a relationship expert, I hear many entrepreneurs tell me their husband’s feel as if they are always last on their list — and that everything else seems to come before them — especially their business. This is a major red flag for the health and intimacy of your marriage. To avoid this complaint — prioritize your relationship by putting date nights and days on the calendar. Just as you would prioritize an important business call or meeting, prioritize your relationship by literally scheduling it on your calendar.
One of the joys of entrepreneurship is loving the work that we do — and if you follow the 3 secrets above, you will not have to choose between your business and your marriage. You will have both!!

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
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Comments

  1. very true! Instead of spending separate time for your business and your partner, why not do it at the same time. This way you won’t need to worry about your priorities and you definitely don’t have to choose which one goes first.

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