Is Your Business Ruining Your Relationships?

Goals and Dreams, Money and Career, Relationship Design

laptopcoupleLet’s say you escaped the corporate world and the 9 to 5 grind that goes with it and you’ve charted your own course for life. You’re free. You have your own little business. The world is now your oyster (how exactly did this phrase get started, and what does this really mean? I hate oysters. But I digress).
While your new business may bring with it the freedom to move about the world, be your own boss, create and spend your time doing the things you love – there also may be a fallout in your personal life.
Your hours used to be set in stone. You knew how long it took to get to work, what had to be done while there, how long it would take to get home, and one of the benefits of working for someone else – once you leave work you can turn it off until the next day.
Being the owner doesn’t allow this. Being the owner means you’re always on call. You’re responsible.
While you may want to believe you can live a compartmentalized life and business won’t bleed over, it simply doesn’t happen.
But what about when this happens -the business does really well yet your relationships at home tank?
Everything in life comes down to two things: your view and then what you do.
You may be the type of person who says family life is one of the most important things in your world, yet you spend almost all your time away from your family. Or you’re the type that constantly complains that you have no money yet you still own the latest gadget the moment it’s released.
What we say and what we do must be in line.
The same goes for what we believe and what we do.
A lot of fallout happens when we live out of congruence. When your values in life are not aligned, often the people who notice and point it out first are those you live with. Although, their pointing this out may not be blunt or obvious, it may be in frustration, disappointment, or anger (and even they don’t really know where it’s coming from).
So if things in your work life are rocking and home isn’t, perhaps there is a bit of aligning needed. Just saying.
But what about the other side of this? You’re doing exactly what you want to be doing, and loving every minute of it yet the other half is making waves or has turned into a life sucking killjoy.
Fact is – life is filled with many things that compete for your attention. The way you navigate this is by prioritizing everything in life.
Life will be arranged around something.
What do you want it to be?
Family, work, freedom, love, adventure.
It’s also worth noting that life is not usually arranged around one or two things. It’s probably more like 4 or 5.
So what are your top priorities?
And do your actions fall in line with them? Do you spend your time in line with them?
Once you have everything in line, it also helps to know that prioritizing things in your life doesn’t have to be a competition.
It doesn’t have to be your job/business versus your spouse, which is often a major source of contention. There are many times I’ve heard a client complain that their spouse loves work more than them.
What if you changed your view to this?
That it’s not the business vs. the relationship, it’s the business for the relationship.
Does that change anything?
It should.
But this also puts the onus on you.
It means you live according to your priorities and your family members know it … and see it.
It means you live more according to choice.
You have to choose how and where you spend your time. Your energy. Your emotion.
Owning your own business can be similar to raising a child. It takes a lot of work and sacrifice from both parents, especially in the beginning. But this sacrifice changes as the child grows and stands on their own – same with your business.
Maybe your relationship would benefit from a conversation about minimally acceptable standards. Things like when the computer will be turned off each night. Or which day(s) of the week are devoted to family or the marriage.
Sometimes, even a small standard being set provides enough of a tipping point for the relationship to flourish.
Those we share life with often just want us to be present. 
Not distracted with work while sharing a meal together, or working on your laptop while the family plays together in front of you, or constantly checking your iPhone or stats or email or Twitter every time something beeps.
They want you.
100% of you.
Even if it’s only for 5 or 10 minutes at at time. Being 100% present goes along way.
And after all, while your marriage or relationship is probably not providing an income like your job/business, it’s still something you put a great deal of heart and soul in – so it’s usually not that easy to simply let it go.
When you both step back and look at the investment you’ve already made in the relationship, can you come to the conclusion that you’d rather have a smaller percentage of your spouse (although 100% of them each time) than a larger percentage of someone else?
It’s a choice you make each and every day. What’s yours today?

(photo source)