Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the journey I have been on while running a business. While there have been a lot of low points and a lot of sleepless nights, it has been the most remarkable experience I have ever been on. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am doing what I was made to be doing.
Though, this has also come at the expense at a lot of other typical life experiences people my age have, including friendships and relationships. While I don’t regret any of the decisions that I have made, the one thing I wish I would have done more of before starting new friendships or relationships was to be very blunt with what my life is like.
So, I decided to create a brief, inconclusive warning guide to dating an entrepreneur.
1. We choose wisely
Anyone that runs a business is beyond in tune with their gut feelings. They know when something is right and when something is wrong. This is the same with their personal life. An entrepreneur is very cautious about the people they allow in the their lives, especially the people their share information with without signing a contract. If an entrepreneur chooses to date you, consider it a deep compliment.
2. We are insanely protective of our business
Our business is our child. We will defend it as if it was under attack everyday, any day. So if you decide to make any remark about our business, we will attack you. You may have valid opinions, but don’t take it offensively. When you have worked as hard as we have on building something worth more money that we could ever imagine, you will understand.
3. We have a tight-knit network
An entrepreneur’s talent is cultivating very close relationships with people. This means that there are very few people an entrepreneur will spend their time with, so you should feel important if they choose to spend their time with you. This also means that the people in their lives will take bullets for them, if they haven’t already. So don’t get on an entrepreneur’s bad side.
4. We are emotional
Starting, growing, and maintaining a business is an incredibly vulnerable challenge. We place everything we have on the lines, and we let the public watch it fall and watch it rise. It is much more difficult than working a day job. We don’t get to leave our work at five p.m. We don’t get the luxury of knowing that if we make mistake, the business will still be afloat. We have to take everything personally because our business, and sometimes our paychecks, depend on it. We have every right to be a full range of emotions.
5. We are passionate
We already know what it’s like to go after what we want because we’ve done that with our businesses. We will stop at nothing to get what we want, and sometimes this means people. We will be passionate and dedicated to anyone and anything we believe in. Though, this also means that, while we don’t burn bridges, we definitely don’t forget the past.
6. We don’t sleep
We don’t have time to sleep. We stay awake at night, dreaming up the next idea, the next big marketing campaign, the next set of tasks we need to complete. If we sleep, we start losing to our competition. You can try to tell us to sleep more all you want, but we know our business will function better if we don’t.
7. We are the happiest people
I am convinced that, while we spend a lot of time scared to death and nervous about our futures, we are also the happiest people on earth. We have cracked the code of life. We have discovered the meaning behind life. We have taken everything life has to offer. We are doing everything we have ever dreamed of, and this is more than most people will ever be able to say.
8. We are inspirationally giving
There is no high greater than the high of experiencing ownership of a company. We want to share this with everyone because we want everyone to be as happy as we are. We will probably push you to do more with your life, and if you want to live a mediocre life, than we will be overwhelming to you. We just want the best for you, and we don’t want you to wait for the things you want most in life.
9. We don’t take anyone’s nonsense
We are blunt. We will tell you exactly how it is. We spend our days comprehending both small and large business decisions, and we also apply this to our lives. We don’t have time to waste, and we certainly don’t have time for flaky or inconsistent people. If we sense trouble, we will call it out instantly.
10. We are private people
You may see a lot of our lives on the internet, and you may think you understand and have an accurate idea of what we are like. You might think you know about our relationships, our friendships, our family, but you most likely don’t. Any good entrepreneur knows how to keep their personal lives very secretive, and anything they do share publicly is not going to even be close to what they are experiencing everyday. We know our businesses are on the line, and we are insanely talented at keeping our lives private. Know that anything you share with us will be private, and we will protect you as much as we protect ourselves.
We may be crazy, we may be emotional, but entrepreneurs are certainly the most dedicated of people you may ever find yourself dating.
This piece has been published on Mogul. You can view the published version here.