R is for Resources R is for Relationships
Okay usually when I talk about pursuing goals, entrepreneurship and phreedum R is for resources. But today, R is for relationships.
Recently while interviewing a designer for Phindout Phriday I asked about how he de-stresses. He responded that he doesn’t and uses stress as a motivator. Which was a pretty solid answer. But then he also shared he doesn’t really socialize or do the club thing, doesn't really date which he attributed to a decrease in disposable income. He chooses to put the money, time, and energy into his business. Again, solid response.
But then as I thought about the response I began to think about other entrepreneurs that I have interviewed or consider as friends. And as I went down the list, I realized most of them, especially the guys, were not in any type of committed relationship. They socialized infrequently or super on purpose (i.e. "If I don't foresee me walking away with contacts to benefit my business I'm not going"), they had girls they liked or were talking to, girls they were having sex with, but that was about it. They had family and friends whom they would grab dinner with or got to a movie or event with, but most of their time was not spent with them either.
So it made me wonder, is dream pursuit (whatever your dreams or ambitions are, including but not limited to being an entrepreneur) and having healthy fulfilling relationships (romantic or not so romantic but more than sexual) incompatible? Is having a relationship, particularly during the beginning stages of dream pursuit, one of the inherent sacrifices?
Personally I think the two can work. I think the key is integration. And if you can’t integrate (have boundaries that allow you to live a well rounded inclusive life, none of that personal vs. professional), it doesn’t matter if you are starting a business or have been running one for thirty years, satisfying relationships won’t work.
One of the key components to pursuing goals, ambitions, dreams, and businesses is time. One of the key components to developing and having a healthy satisfying relationship is time. As the keeper of your time, you choose how it is spent. You choose how you invest it. And I won’t knock anyone who chooses to invest it in pursuing their goals, dreams, or businesses instead of a relationship. I will knock using your goal, dream, or business as a reason not to have a relationship.
Sometimes we think our dream, whatever it is and it may be having a thriving business, is the big picture, and when it’s achieved we have thus been successful. But I think it’s bigger than that. I think there is a bigger picture and that picture includes people with whom we have relationships. Not even just romantic ones. The road to our dreams and goals does not have to be as lonely as we sometimes make it. And I think we can experience a greater sense of fulfillment and success in our lives in general when we make room for relationships.
Personally, I don’t want Phreedum to be all that I want it to be at the cost of me having meaningful relationships. I don’t want to get to the top and have no one else see the view with me. I don’t want to reach new goals that are a part of the business plan and the only other person who rejoices with me is either my banker or financial adviser.
I do want Phreedum to be all that I foresee it being and to know it has been achieved because I have accessed and maximized my time and relationships. I have maximized my team, and by team I don't just mean the professionals, I mean the friends, the favorite cousin, the always good for a laugh uncle, and the down for what ever not afraid to see me thrive motivating significant other.
I like the idea of doing things by any means necessary. I love twits and facebook statuses that say “Focused" or "Giving it 200%" or "Eat Sleep Grind”. And I am enough of a realist to know that when you are in the thick of pursuing your dreams tunnel vision can set in and exclude relationships, current ones may fall to the way side and new ones don’t get cultivated. I’m also human enough to know that we can’t exist without relationships. And when we sacrifice relationships we may underestimate how we may undermine our efforts to actualize our dreams and be successful, unless, your dream is to be alone.