“Dedicated to my co-founder in life and our startup that pays in love.”
Cheers to the love of our lives. This opening dedication in You Don’t Need This Book: Entrepreneurship in the Connected Era is fixed on the fact that significant others are elemental to an entrepreneurial lifestyle.
When so much is poured into something we care about, it brings everyone along for the ride. This makes success fun to share, but when dips emerge, tension will test the best of us. Many families build love triangles, but partners building in completely different realms is just as familiar. Loved ones may not understand all that’s surging through each other’s ambitious adventure, but when trust is minted, healthy individuality allows each person to achieve more through a shared appetite for risk.
A < H
To visualize how trust creates exponential opportunity, put your hands together. First, make an “A”. Each hand represents one partner. When relationships are built in the shape of an A, the constant contact actually becomes a limitation. The centering line of trust is established, but the top point limits how far each line can be extended.
Now, use your hands and make an “H”. The center line of trust remains, but there’s now space for individuality. Each of the two horizontal lines can continue to grow beyond what would have been possible alone. Individuality can feel apathetic, but when two people trust each other enough to build their own neon future, a brilliant fabric is set free to shine. This fabric can also become unbreakable, as threads of purpose are woven together with everlasting love.
Even with loving individuality sustained by trust, a shared appetite for risk still correlates through the environment, engaged networks, and what our partners provide. The quiet truth is that if there’s a singular source of income, stability is paramount. If there are multiple sources of income, there can be more comfort in the unknowns that come with building something new. Our current situation will always present limitations, but can we produce when others consume? Will we continue shifting gears to keep building without a map?
If such a calling brings you to life, what can we do to increase a shared appetite for risk? If work/life balance is an illusion reserved for the status quo, perhaps peace awaits those who encourage the latest creative season pf their forever friend. Setting an example of unselfish support can translate into positive momentum that benefits our partners, while also adding fresh space for our own exploration. The loving leash is lengthened as each partner delivers on promises (or quit the right things, at the right time) and the strengthened trust brews more freedom to flex.
I am nothing without the love we share.
Before we ink this tribute to those who support us, let’s play with a paradox. Does everyone have an entrepreneurial spirit? It’s easy to say yes, but my favorite response considers the trust-based privilege of inviting strategic risk. In short, we may all have a creative spirit. When an appetite for risk is applied, the innovative spirit gets stirred into a delicious recipe that can be tasted with endless variety. It’s students tinkering with no permission required. It’s indispensable intrapreneurs fueling positive change in existing companies. It’s the side hustles that evolve a leader’s diversified career portfolio and the founders willing to solve problems with pain-killing solutions. While lone wolves build capacity to explore their own uncertainties, exponential opportunity await the team that builds with a shared vision.
Humans seek purpose, peace, and happiness. The family we choose influences our own path toward career nirvana. Be kind to yourself by choosing a partner wisely, then be your best knowing that when the credits roll on a life well-lived, our loved ones will be first, last, and all that’s in between.