Regardless of which side of the political fence you are on (or maybe sitting in the stream in the middle) one can’t help but notice how the general public seems to point fingers and utilize one’s personal love life, or the lack thereof, as some sort of measuring stick for their perceived abilities to be a strong leader in business and/or the political arena. To those who do the finger pointing in this manner, I ask you the following: Have you actually ever been a successful business person? While perhaps I am over generalizing here I am going to go out on a limb and will guess not because, the truth is, entrepreneurship/business leadership can be a very, very, lonely place.
For the purpose of this article I will refer to entrepreneurs, however, this really could apply to any higher-up type business leader. The responsibilities and worries for a entrepreneur/business leader are very different than that of the time clock punching worker-bee. Not that there is anything wrong with being a worker-bee but my point is, the worker-bee goes to work, turns on the lights, clocks in, does their designated duties for the set shift for the day, clocks out, and then goes home…with free time to do whatever thereafter…inclusive of spending time with family.
By contrast, the entrepreneur, typically doesn’t have that kind of luxury. The entrepreneur is concerned about keeping the lights on, the equipment maintained, the staff paid and employed…and all of that encompasses ways in which to keep the business thriving. While you are at home spending time with family and friends, and getting sleep, the entrepreneur is up late nights educating themselves on market trends, and trying to navigate changes in industry. The entrepreneur is up looking at their competitors to figure out how to do things “better.” The entrepreneur is trying to come up with the next “big thing” to help them grow and become more…so that maybe the company can afford raises or better equipment for its staff. Even if the entrepreneur has reached a point where they have people to help them with some of these tasks, there is still the challenge of managing people which can be downright exhausting!
With all that the entrepreneur has to worry about, it is no wonder that so many may have a hard time keeping personal relationships a-float. I myself am guilty of the “just a minute baby, only one more email and then I will come to bed” and then three hours later I head upstairs…usually with the phone in hand to check on different accounts. Meanwhile my other half has been home for six hours, asleep for three, and I have sucked at paying any attention to him because I have let myself be drawn in and distracted by my work projects. True, it’s a personal thing I am working on, and I’ve gotten a lot better…but it does still happen on occasion. Indeed, it takes a very strong partner to understand the demands that are placed on the entrepreneur…and an even stronger one to accept how lonely a relationship with an entrepreneur can be. To the entrepreneur, that business or project is their baby, which often times means they sacrifice the “typical” relationships for it. Further, it’s not uncommon for people involved in an entrepreneur to give up because they need more out of the relationship that the entrepreneur can give, and that’s okay too. This, however, does not mean that the entrepreneur is a bad person or a bad business leader…in fact, it could mean the very opposite; that the entrepreneur is willing to sacrifice their personal relationship life for the greater good of their business. Of course I always advocate for finding balance…but some times that is easier said than done.
Bottom line, when it comes down to it, before you go pointing fingers at people based upon your perception of their failed love life and what that means for them as a business/political leader…I ask you to consider what I just wrote and remember, entrepreneurship can be a very lonely place.
Just some food for thought, friends. I’d be interested to hear your feedback and experiences.