No. 165

How to be an entrepreneur and date someone who’s not

A lot happened in August. I drove down to Asheville twice for mastermind retreats. I’m still processing losing my beloved Marty (and helping my other cats through their grief too). I discovered that I’m building an empire with my business. And I started dating someone.

This someone — we’ll use his first initial of G for now — is not an entrepreneur. He has a job he loves that has a solid pension and lots of vacation time. He has plans and dreams and the drive to potentially move into another position. But he is not an entrepreneur.

How is he ever going to understand this business thing I’m doing?

Having my own business has meant late nights and long hours and vacations that aren’t really vacations because I need to answer emails. Now, I’m getting some great systems into place to help things run smoothly (and help them run without me around sometimes), but I’m not there yet. I still have to give up a Sunday here and there to push forward with some projects and position myself to handle the influx of new clients and emails and projects.

I think G is already beginning to understand that he’s not only dating me but also in a relationship with my business. I’ve had to disappoint him once already and miss a friend’s party because I needed to work an extra day and make progress with some projects I had already promised myself to.

This is just reality for me: I love what I do, and while it’s not all I am, it’s important to me.

So how am I handling all of this? (And keeping this guy who doesn’t quite understand the entrepreneur thing around?)

  1. I’m drawing boundaries. When I’m off and spending time with him, I’m off. No emails or calls. Just us.
  2. I’m putting systems into place so when I’m off, my brilliant team is handling things.
  3. I talk about what’s happening, what I’m doing, and why it’s so important to him. He may not be in it, but I can share my excitement and challenges with him.
I love my business, but I am so much more than my business.

I’m more than a website developer or business owner or entrepreneur. I’m bigger than that. And creating space to nurture all the relationships in my life is key to my health and happiness.

And I’m pretty sure G and I will figure out the rest along the way.

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

3 thoughts on “How to be an entrepreneur and date someone who’s not

  1. Oh, Brandi! I’m so excited for you! It sounds like things are really starting to come together!! If he really loves what he does and you really love what you do it doesn’t matter that you’re not both entrepreneurs; you’ll be able to learn from each other!

  2. I think you have some fantastic suggestions in that list. I think that a lot of couples have to figure this out, too–I know that at the start of my career I had to negotiate the differences between my work and my husband’s, and that we went through the same thing years ago when he started his career. When you have jobs that are wildly different in what they ask of you, what you must do, you have to find your way through and determine not just what you’ll prioritize, but also how you’ll prioritize it.

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.