I speak with many entrepreneur couples for The Entrepreneur's Wife program, and I get the privilege of hearing so many heroes’ journeys. The stories always include the personal struggles. Why is this? It’s because anything worth having does not come easily. There’s always some drawbacks, pains, and difficult times – but it’s easier to navigate these things with a partner at your side!
Even though every couple I've spent time with is different, there is a common thread when it comes to their feelings.
Some of the common struggles for The Entrepreneur's Wife include:
• Feeling alone
• Feeling unimportant
• Being financially scared
• Feeling like they’re a single parent
• A feeling of not always being present or significant
• Irritation that he is always checking his phone
• The feeling that he works 20 hours a day
Some of the common struggles of the Entrepreneur are:
• That his wife no longer supports and believes in the dream.
• A constant feeling that he must prove to her that he’s got what it takes.
• Feelings that she’s less willing to commit resources.
• Feelings of envy from his wife.
• The sense that his wife feels left out or left behind in his journey.
• Feelings of being mocked for his independent views and lifestyle.
• Feelings of disinterest or disconnection from his wife.
Do any of those sound familiar? Did you have a ‘lightbulb moment’ and see yourself? Have you spoken to each other about these feelings, if any of them do ring true?
I believe the journey isn't just about the entrepreneur. I think there are three components in an entrepreneurial family's journey.
• The entrepreneur's journey: The heroes’ journey we hear about so often. The climb from rags to riches and all the hardships along the way.
• The entrepreneur's wife’s journey: This is also a heroes’ journey. The climb beside her husband, having faith and belief in a vision that might not be hers. Learning to cheer him on daily and loving him through the falls. Most of all figuring out her own passion, belief structure, strength and value in a climb that sometimes feels out of her control.
• The couple's journey: The way the journey affects the marriage. The pull between business and family and the need to give to both. The growth, fear, heartache, passion, wins, losses, failures, and successes, the influx of money and lack of money and the never-ending need to invest affects the marriage.
The fact that the divorce rate is 70% for entrepreneurs backs me up on my thoughts on this topic.
I believe if there can be an understanding that it is a team effort, which all roles are vital and then respect and recognition from both parties are given it can be so much smoother.
Remember entrepreneurs when you get to the mountaintop, and you're doing your superhero pose. Your wife is throwing her leg over the side of the mountain with a baby probably strapped to her back saying, did we make it? Your cape is well deserved, and all your hard work is something to be extremely proud of. But the climb was safer with the assistance of your Belayer. If you do not know what a Belayer is, it's a term used in rock and mountain climbing.
The Belayer is the person who will be pulling the rope in as the climber goes up a climb so that the climber will be safe.