Ship it: an entrepreneur’s guide to love.

I am writing this blog post not because I am an expert in business or relationships. I want to share my thoughts on this subject and encourage  my startup friends to share their experiences. (Because we know that life is not all about gaining traction and shipping products.)

Let’s be honest here. As an entrepreneur, your startup is your baby. One that requires more than your full time attention—your 110% attention when you are the CEO or Founder) I hustle. Hard. There are some days you just need to focus and get shit done. But by the time you are done and look at the clock you realize it’s 3’o clock  in the morning.

Average Startup Life Time Table = Eat 5% Work 70% sleep 25% (I know many of my startup friends don’t sleep at all.)

So where do you fit a relationship in this? You Can’t.

Some people ask me, how do you balance time between starting a business and a relationship?

The answer is you can’t balance it. Don’t try to balance it. Prioritize  it.

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  Caption: My tech wives

Caption: My tech wives

In my startup, having co-founders feel kind of like having  four extra girl friends because we are together all the time. We eat, live, work, work, work, code, pitch, breathe our startup. Sometimes we even share  a bed too. Your co-founders become your wives because your product is your baby. The founding team are the parents. And just as the saying goes: happy wife happy life. Having a strong team is important, this is why you don’t just simply work on a product but you also need to have fun with your “wives” in order to build a strong team to solve problems.

So how do you balance time between your startup with your actual real girl friend that you love.

Tip 1 – Find a girlfriend who understands what is entrepreneurship or at least appreciates that you are trying to change the world for the better.

How can you build a startup if someone you care about complains  about what you do.  As a general rule, if your girlfriend is discouraging about what you are trying to do you should dump your startup or your girlfriend.

The most common reason why startups fall apart is because an issue arises between co-founders. The team has conflict and their expectation of each other  don’t meet.

As with a relationship. 

So manage your expectations with your girl friend.  Does she expect you to spend every night with her? Does she expect you to text her 24/7? Or she has a life too and passionate about what she is working on.

Tip 2 – Communicate

In a startup, we have regular company meetings, 5 minute- stand up office updates, daily scrum meeting and Board of directors meeting.

In a relationship, it’s the same idea. You should have  dates of various lengths, A long afternoon in person is like scheduling a monthly board of directors meeting, a short Skype call or  Snapchat video is like a status update.

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   Caption: …and my real girlfriend, Emma.

Caption: …and my real girlfriend, Emma.

I found this works really well for my relationship with my girlfriend Emma I am working in New York and Emma is in Waterloo studying Accounting. We only see each other once a month for two to three  days. We have three  “scrum meetings” every week which are brief updates on our lives and we have in person “founders meetings” – an actual date once a month. If you are too lazy to do that than you should rethink whether your relationship is worth keeping.I value my time with my girlfriend. Yes I could be  making more sales phone calls but to me life is not just  business.

It is possible to have a successful startup and a good relationship. At the end of the day, it is all about what you want for your life and your priorities . Don't be jealous of others’ success unless you are willing to sacrifice what they had

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.
— 1 John 4:18-19

Share your comments and feedback. I would love to hear how you manage your startup with your relationship.