A wise entrepreneurial friend once told me the following story:
I work all the time. Day, night, weekends, all the time. Sometimes my wife will want some time with me, just to talk. But since I’m always busy, I’m usually at my computer when we have our conversations. What she’s noticed is, I only half-listen when I’m doing that. I’m splitting my attention between her and my laptop.
This hasn’t been good. I could tell it was affecting our marriage. So I resolved to shut the lid of my laptop whenver she wanted to speak. And I’ve been doing that. It hasn’t been easy, let me tell you. But I’ve been trying.
He also added that this is just one small way to balance his marriage and his startup. There are many other behavioral changes he’s made to be a better husband.
P.S. For more of such advice, Meg Cadoux Hirshberg has been writing a regular column for Inc. Magazine about her experiences. She’s married to one of the founders of the organic-yogurt company Stonyfield Farm. Her column relates the struggles she’s faced on the other side of the fence – being married to an entrepreneur.