Being an entrepreneur can be lonely. Between the long hours, tireless dedication, and frequent travel, it can be hard to find balance. All of this leaves entrepreneurs at an increased risk for burn out and other mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and relationship problems.

Nicole Moore is an entrepreneur who understands this struggle personally. She started her love coaching practice while in a relationship that she thought would lead to marriage. Instead, it resulted in emotional abuse and her boyfriend cheating on her. Suddenly single as a life coach, Nicole had to start following her own advice. She took every step she taught her client—and it worked. She found her dream man exactly one year later. They are now happily married with a son.

Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs, I related to Nicole’s story. Running a business shapes your work and home life in sometimes unanticipated ways. Conflicts arise, work-life balance may seem non-existent. So how do you make it work especially with kids?

Photo credit: Nicole Moore

Here Nicole shares some of her best tips for creating healthy relationships alongside a thriving business, including essentials strategies for building a support system as an entrepreneur:

What inspired you to help entrepreneurs repair their relationships?

Entrepreneurs give so much and create so much value in the world but I noticed that there was often big a gap in their interpersonal lives as they focused on work to the exclusion of rich and deep personal connections.

I found that entrepreneurs without successful relationships were most often pushing too hard, working ALL of the time and depleting their energy and resources.

These entrepreneurs felt compelled to work and not just from healthy drive but from the fact that without work, they had no other source of emotional reward or connection.

And, relationships are not just a fun afterthought thought. The right relationships can actually provide the recharging fuel that can help an entrepreneur avoid burnout and succeed. 

Why are strong relationships so important in the entrepreneurial journey?

The entrepreneurial is filled with amazing highs and, very often, failure and love moments. Without strong relationships, the tendency is too great for entrepreneurs to spiral in the hard moments into isolation, stagnation and even depression.

As entrepreneurs, we risk on a daily basis. We put ourselves on the line, innovate and create often without a safety net. And, for most entrepreneurs, even if we do have a team supporting us, we often feel that we are carrying the burden of business success on our shoulders

Strong relationships help ground the entrepreneur and provide stability and support. If you have a crazy day at work but you have a friend to call and let off some steam with, or a supportive spouse, it can make all the difference in feeling like you’re not actually out on a limb all alone.

Who are the essential people every entrepreneur needs on their dream team?

A best friend / confidante – that one person who knows you intimately, believes in you and who you can fully let your guard down with. Most entrepreneurs have to project an image of “I’ve got it handled” at all times whether it’s in a sales meeting or with their team or with a client. We all need one friend in the world who we can just be entirely honest and vulnerable with….like Oprah Winfrey has Gayle King

A romantic partner – I firmly believe that a happy romantic relationship is one of the biggest things that can fuel an entrepreneur’s success, and that a rocky one creates unnecessary pressure and noise. If you look at some of the most successful entrepreneurs out there, like Jeff Bezos of Amazon, for example, you’ll find that many of them have rock solid and long lasting marriages.

A mentor/ coach – Entrepreneurs dream big but often, the people around them either don’t believe in their vision or they simply don’t think the same way, so we’re often left being the single emotional driver of our visions forward.
Having the right mentor is one of the most game changing relationships an entrepreneur can have because the right mentor is that one person in the world who actually believes more for you than you do for yourself. 

What do you do if you’re surrounded by people who don’t support you? Naysayers are so common!

If you’re surrounded by people who don’t support you, you have to go out and find your tribe.

Join a business mastermind led by an amazing mentor. Network. Attend personal development events and business conferences. Go where the big thinkers and dreamers go and find your people.

It’s a lot easier to ignore the naysayers when you are friends with other people who dream just as big as you do.

And, use the lack of support as fuel. Imagine the day when all of those naysayers are hearing about your success. Seeing an article about your recent business growth, purchasing one of your products, hearing about you on TV. They say the best revenge is success for a reason.

Entrepreneurship can be an emotionally draining journey — and be hard on our love lives. What helps you keep your relationships strong?

The number one thing that keeps your relationship strong is targeted quality time. So often, entrepreneurs skip out on time with loved ones because we mistakenly assume that we don’t have the time. However, daily targeted quality time with our loved ones can make all the difference in the relationship thriving.

The important thing is to specifically call out and name the time and make it sacred in the calendar. For instance, blocking out 15 minutes of targeted quality time in the morning to connect with your spouse over coffee and just talk before starting work can go a long way.

The second is genuine interest. Most loved ones are actually supportive of your entrepreneurial journey, but they don’t want to feel like your business is ALL that matters to you. 

It’s all too easy for entrepreneurs to be so caught up in thinking about their business that even when physically present with a loved one, their mind is elsewhere and this has loved ones feel unimportant.

So, make a mental note to just BE with your loved one and ask about their day and their feelings. Really, truly show interest and make your loved one feel that they matter just as much as the business. If you do this, you’ll likely find that your loved one quickly becomes your biggest supporter. In short: show your loved one you care about them as much as you care about the business.

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