Getting used to the smell and other tips for living with an entrepreneur. Click To TweetSo, your partner/loved one is an entrepreneur. My deepest sympathies. Living with someone who is an entrepreneur is never easy.
The Entrepreneurship Epidemic
The truth is, entrepreneurship is becoming an epidemic that is sweeping the globe. Millennials, retirees, big thinkers and radical idealists are rejecting the 9-5 at unprecedented rates all over the world. En masse, creatives and business people alike are trading in their pant suits for pajamas and opting to pursue work from home to find their ‘true purpose’ and attempt to bring their ‘gifts to the world’.
Experts aren’t sure what has caused this outbreak, and as it stands, there is no known cure.
Many believe entrepreneurship is brought on by creative thinking, risk taking, or exposure to high levels of side-hustling. Some symptoms include increased consumption of toast and tea, a decrease in wearing pants, loss of interest in all activities unrelated to their business, and a dramatic increase in hangryness. In some rare cases, symptoms may include increased income, increased freedom, and higher overall lifestyle satisfaction.
Beware if someone you love is exhibiting symptoms of an entrepreneur; entrepreneurship is, in fact, contagious and can remain dormant for many years before taking hold. Professionals believe that in less serious cases of entrepreneurship, the symptoms may fade and the condition may resolve itself on its own, but in some cases entrepreneurship can last a lifetime.
Your Relationship on Entrepreneurship
At first, the one you love claimed they were just sick of their regular 9-5 job, which seemed innocent enough. One thing led to another, and now you are wondering why your wife hasn’t come out of her ‘office’ for 2 days. Every time you brew a fresh pot of coffee or turn on the kettle, any and all hot caffeinated liquids are consumed before you even get to pour yourself a cup. You’re not even sure what exactly her new job is, or what she does all day, but when you bring up weekend plans she cackles as if weekends were unicorns or flying pigs, just a figment of your juvenile imagination.
Entrepreneurship can be hard on relationships and friendships, and it is important to remember it is no one’s fault. That is why I put together this handy guide so you can begin to understand your friends, partners and loved ones as this aggressive condition takes hold.
The Do’s and Don’ts of surviving your partner’s entrepreneurship
- DO Remain calm. Entrepreneurship is rarely fatal and has been known to have desirable side effects like more freedom, increased income and higher overall lifestyle satisfaction. Though it may be scary at first, and you may not understand it, you will be fine.
- DO NOT ask them what they want for dinner. If you get an answer, it will be a grunt that sounds like “I don’t know”, accompanied by a shrug as they stare transfixed into the beckoning light of their computer screen. It is a safe bet to assume you are now the primary decision maker when it comes to food consumption and planning.
- DO keep them hydrated. Entrepreneurship can dramatically increase caffeine intake and an entrepreneur’s moderation control for coffee and tea is now dead forever.
- DO NOT let them drink wine before 3 pm. Even if they tell you it’s 5 pm where their client lives.
- DO remind them why they are an entrepreneur in the first place. The most common reason entrepreneurs work 100 hours a week is so that they can have more freedom, more time with family and more fun. Remind them that they need to make time for it now. To mitigate any potential negativity, only do this after your partner has been fed.
- DO NOT tell them to get a real job. Unless you want to work on your rancid coffee cup dodging skills, you like sleeping alone, or you love a good death glare.
- DO expect all of your conversations henceforth to somehow relate back to their business. If you think that litter boxes or pancakes couldn’t possibly be related to your partner’s business, just try talking about it, I dare you.
- DO NOT offer unsolicited advice. Just because your partner is talking to you about their new business, does not mean they are asking for your opinion. You couldn’t possibly relate, you normal 9-5er. Chances are they have already thought of your suggestion anyways – remember, it’s now their job to know everything about their business. You are not their coach or consultant. Remain supportive by simply nodding your head slowly as if listening to a deranged person.
- DO learn the signs of hangryness. Entrepreneurs rarely check in with their bodies enough to determine if they are awake, let alone hungry, so they often forget to feed themselves and confuse their hunger with general angst, rage and the failing of their business.
- DO NOT enter their office without food. Just don’t do it. The natural habitat of the entrepreneur needs to be respected, and if you have to enter, make sure you come with resources. If you had to get into a cage with a lion, bringing a steak is not a bad idea.
- DO get used to the mess. Just because your partner is working at home does not in any way mean they will be helping out around the house more. They are a business person, not a maid. In fact, since they are home more hours of the day, the house will likely look worse than it would otherwise.
- DO NOT assume you exist if you are not in their calendar. I mean, you may exist, but they may not know that.
- DO schedule yourself in. Seriously, if you want to have a romantic evening, you best be scheduling yourself in, or you might get bumped or overshadowed by a big appointment or project. It ain’t pretty, but it’s the truth.
- DO NOT ask them when they will be done. Don’t you get it? An entrepreneur’s work is NEVER done. They would work in their sleep if they could.
- DO expect them to be constantly on their devices, but never actually answering your emails or texts. This mysterious phenomenon is yet to be explained by experts.
- DO NOT expect them to wear pants. If you never left the house, you wouldn’t either. It also decreases the amount of laundry that you have to do, so just be grateful.
- DO remind them to put on pants and shower before they leave the house. They can become accustomed to their own odor and forget the normal rules of decorum necessary in the real world.
- DO NOT ask them if they have been wearing the same pair of pajamas for the last four days. You’ve got eyes in your head-clearly, they are.
- DO get used to the smell. Entrepreneurship changes a person’s natural odor and makes them a bit more rancid and less likely to shower or practice regular hygiene.
- DO NOT assume because they are at home they are free to talk. Your entire house is now their place of work, just because they are around, doesn’t mean they can shoot the breeze.
- DO anticipate a rollercoaster of emotions. Entrepreneurship is a wild ride.
- DO NOT assume that if they are on Facebook, they are not working. Facebook is now the only social interaction they get, and it’s called a Social Networking site for a reason.
- DO get ready to hear all about their inspiring internet friends from #TeaVolution Network. This is the only place online they can go for community that is not about selling or pitching. Meeting new friends and contacts online is the fastest and easiest way to connect with other entrepreneurs for support, and build your business. It’s way less weird than internet dating.
If you stick closely to this guide, you will not only survive your partner’s entrepreneurship, you might just learn to love it.
That being said, if you suspect that you or someone you know may have got the entrepreneurship bug, send them immediately to the TeaVolution Network – a safe place to meet other entrepreneurs, where entrepreneurs go to build referral networks and make authentic connections with other inspiring people.
PS. Due to demand The Teavolution Network has recently added a support group for partners of entrepreneurs to commiserate with each other.