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This recent Inc. article, entitled “The Start of a Company, the End of a Marriage,” dives into the correlation between entrepreneurs and failed relationships. Through a series of stories that serve as informal case studies, the effects of stress due to entrepreneurship and operating an early stage business are examined.
One of the relationships profiled in this article is that of Brad Feld and Amy Batchelor, the co-authors of Startup Life.
I can’t think of two topics that are bigger hot buttons, not just for entrepreneurs, but for an awful lot of people. I have no doubt that many of you have opinions and experiences about sex and money that aren’t aligned with your partners.
You certainly aren’t alone!
When Brad and Amy, who we’ve known for 25 years, asked me and my husband, Warren, to write about these very personal topics, it was not by accident. They’ve known the ups and downs of our marriage and watched us go through marital trials that not everyone emerges from in-tact.
I initially felt afraid to reveal our tangles with these private issues, but my next quick thought trumped my fears. I knew that sharing our experiences – in a meaningful way – could really help others. Navigating these delicate waters of being in relationships with entrepreneurs is no picnic. Understanding the way my entrepreneurial partner ticked, and letting him understand what worked for me and what didn’t, was paramount to our relationship lasting.
The Startup Life book covers a plethora of topics. The honest and practical no-nonsense essays from a variety of entrepreneurs and their partners offer unique windows to how others have solved or learned from familiar situations. At the very least, it offers fodder for discussions that might otherwise be difficult to broach. Working through challenges, or even approaching something before it becomes an insurmountable is one of the benefits this title offers.
Heck, you can always say to your partner: “hey, read these ten pages and then come find me.”
I would have loved to have this book when my husband (then, boyfriend) started his company. I’m certain our relationship would have benefited from the road map of Startup Life. To draw from experiences of like-minded people would have been invaluable. Instead we stumbled, sometimes rather badly, through some pretty dark places as a couple.
No regrets! With just weeks until my 20th wedding anniversary, we’re stronger than ever and have decided to give it another twenty years and see if it sticks! J
Ilana Katz is the author of “The Underground” – a dystopian novel. When not writing, Ilana entertains in Boston’s subways, playing old-time and blues fiddle. www.ilanakatz.com
Remember when the Mars Climate Orbiter disintegrated in the Mars atmosphere because some part of the trajectory was calculated using English units instead of metric units? We think this is the perfect analogy for what can happen in a relationship. It takes a lot of arithmetic to make a successful flight, and being involved in an entrepreneurial endeavor can cause an enormous amount of external atmospheric pressure on a marriage. Human errors and failures of communication can be fatal.
We’re hoping to create a community for people to share their own successes as well as tales of crashing and burning.
We want to say at the outset that by marriage we mean any committed relationship, and that we fully support the right of our LGBT friends to have the same legal benefits afforded by the marriage contract as we do, even though we’re not certain why the government confers any benefits at all.
We cared so little about the legal part of marriage that we didn’t actually get a marriage license until three years after we eloped to Alaska. We didn’t claim any tax deductions, insurance benefits, or even free spousal rental car privileges during that time, but it didn’t change the essential nature of our connection to have a piece of paper from the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. We will discuss all of the nuances around the definition of marriage as we go along.
There are a lot of big juicy topics that we’re planning to cover, such as:
- Work and Love (Hat tip to Dr. Freud)
- Core Values, or What Compatibility Really Means
- Identity and Intimacy
- You Can Have It All, Just Not All at the Same Time; or “It’s easy for you because you don’t have children.”
- Priorities – Actions Speak Louder Than Words
- Talk About It, But Not Too Much
- Cardinal Virtues (Patience, assuming good intent, benefit of the doubt)
- Introvert / Extrovert
- Early Bird / Night Owl
- You Knew What You Were Getting Into; or How to Renegotiate Initial Expectations
- Nice Guys Finish First / Try a Little Tenderness
- How Public Do You Want to Be?
- Health and Fitness: Moderate vs. Maniac
- Cheerleader / Critic
- Work / Play
- Success / Failure
- Tales from the Edge: Near Misses
- Calling It Quits