Previously, we’ve talked about some of the sacrifices founders make – time and money, of course, but even health. They are real and we strongly believe that you should understand them so you go into the process of building a company with your eyes wide open. But, we haven’t yet covered the most painful of the founder sacrifices – relationships. It’s the most insidious. That’s because it happens over time and its almost impossible to recognize as it’s happening. We’re not only talking about romantic relationships, startups can be detrimental to relationships with children, friends, and family too.
More than a few founders have experienced fractured relationships because of their companies. Founders have gone through breakups, divorce, or even damaged relationships with their kids. Friends fade away and founders lose touch with family members.
The amount of time and effort that goes into a startup inevitably causes stress on relationships. Couples don’t spend as much time together. A parent may not see their kids nearly as much. Or friends just doesn’t get as much time together. The lack of connection can cause a wide variety of issues within the relationship.
Even founding teams struggle with their relationships with each other because they are so busy with what they each are individually working on. There is so much pressure in building a new business that it’s difficult for founding teams to stay together. There are just too many ways that founder relationships can be damaged.
Relationships are somewhat connected to your time management skills. In order to help maintain your relationships, you’ll want to make sure that you allocate enough time to them. While it may feel more contrived, scheduling time on a regular basis to be with your family and friends will make a big difference. Schedule a regular date night with your significant other, or a day out with your kids.
While it’s difficult, if you can leave your work behind not only will it help you recover and rejuvenate, it will continue to build on your relationships with those that you love. Your family and friends are your support network when building a new business. You’ll be leaning on them heavily for advice and support. In return, make sure that you’re prioritizing them and giving to them in ways that work for them.
Founding a company is not for everybody. There are plenty of sacrifices that every founder makes in building a successful startup, including the hardest to see of the founder sacrifices – relationships. The more you know about the ahead of time, the better you can deal with them when they’re happening. In The Startup Playbook we cover all the sacrifices and challenges that a founder faces. Check it out so you can make sure you’re ahead of the game.