So you’re friends with someone who is starting a business. Maybe you’re more than friends. Maybe you’re officially dating or married to an entrepreneur.
Whatever your relationship might be, you should know that entrepreneurs are a little different by design. The way they see things. How they think about stuff. Even how they prioritize time. They might be a little crazy by most standards.
All of it ties to their vision of running their own business. In other words…
An Entrepreneur’s Business and Soul are Attached
Now, there are plenty of non-entrepreneurs who love and live for their job. They sacrifice for it. They commit themselves to it.
But entrepreneurs do that on a whole different level. The lines between their life and their job tend to get blurry. If things at work are exciting and positive, they’re excited and positive. If work is bleak, their attitudes might be bleak.
You should know, the first few years of entrepreneurship can be an emotional rollercoaster. If your friend is in the early stages of business, try to show extra patience and encouragement.
Their Hours are Irregular
Startups don’t have a regular start and end time to their workdays. The business itself may have office or store hours, but the wheels keep turning even after the doors are shut. Entrepreneurs are known to wake up early and stay up late working on projects.
Many have the problem of never fully checking out. Sometimes they may be in the middle of dinner or conversation when they get that far away look in their eyes and seemingly “check out” for a bit. That’s because an unplanned and often unexpected thought just popped into their head. Try not to be offended and perhaps even offer to help them through it so that you can more quickly get back to enjoying time together.
Don’t be surprised if you’re hanging out and they bring their laptop along, or they’re constantly checking emails.
Be patient with them. Understand when they can’t make it to everything that’s going on. That said, don’t be afraid to tell them to checkout for a bit and invest in the time you spend together. You’ll likely be doing them a favor.
Just choose your words carefully. After all…
They’re Probably Hard on Themselves
One of the things that drives entrepreneurs is a lack of satisfaction. They want more from their life and from the industry they operate in. While this normally works as a great motivator, it sometimes turns against them.
Entrepreneurs can be very critical of their own decisions, actions, and shortcomings. Because they’re very analytical of their business, and their business is so closely tied to themselves, it carries over.
If you’ve never been close to someone whose life demands high performance, it might catch you off guard. It’s not that they’re being negative. They’re simply trying to be better.
They are Passionate (which Sometimes Comes Off as Weirdly Obsessive)
Entrepreneurs are driven by passion. They have an idea and a dream, and they’re running towards that. Sometimes, this is inspiring. Other times, it comes off as kind of strange and obsessive. They’ll make a big deal out of things that seem insignificant to many.
They’ll look through the same info/data/copy/design over and over again, analyzing and processing it.
Don’t worry. They aren’t lost causes. They’re just passionate.
They’ll Appreciate Your Friendship More Than You Know
If you’re patient with an entrepreneur, if you encourage them and believe in them while having the courage to occasionally correct them, you’ll form an incredible relationship. Being friends with an entrepreneur isn’t hard.
Just take interest. Ask questions. Listen to their ideas. See their potential and push them to go for their dreams. In return, you’ll form a great friendship. Entrepreneurs tend to be great friends because they encourage people around them to pursue their own dreams.
Life is less dull with entrepreneurs in your life. Every day can bring something new and exciting.
And should you ever decide to start a business of your own, they’ll be there for you, helping show how to create a business plan and cast vision.
Because that’s what friends do.