Today, we’re going to talk about your relationship with your partner/spouse. I’ll start by telling you about my marriage of 12 years.

It’s been rolling along well. We’ve got young kids, which does present some challenges when it comes to actually spending time together, just the two of us, but really, I’ve got an awesome wife and have nothing to complain about.

It’s not always like that, though. There have been times in the last few years where we’ve been consistently short with each other. We’ve fought, and though I know I love my wife and couldn’t bear the thought of not being around her, there have been days I didn’t particularly like her.

I have no doubt she would say the same thing about me; that there have been days my behavior was childish and selfish.

[Tweet “I’ve been childish and selfish at home and that’s not right.”]


Back when I started my business it was an all-out push for six months as I worked full-time and took side work. For a few months I could just barely keep things going between the two jobs and eventually I had to quit my full-time job to get my new business up and running.

Through all of this, my wife took on most of the house chores so that I could focus my time on work during the hours I was at home. That was a decision we both made and we don’t regret at all. I wouldn’t be here today without her support in those early days/months.

All that work affected our home life. We didn’t have much time to talk. We didn’t really have any time to simply exist together, and without some quantity of time it’s really hard to get that quality time in.

In addition to no longer having a job working for someone else, when I went out on my own, the other big shift we made was re-gaining quality time together. With this change, we did enjoy some of that quality time, but within nine months of me going on my own we had our first child.

[Tweet “When I didn’t make my marriage a priority my work suffered.”]

While children are a joy, they make spending time together so much harder. No more late nights out on a whim since babysitters aren’t typically available on a whim.

Then, once kids start walking and talking they always want to be in the middle of your conversations.


Way too many business owners make that same ‘sacrifice’ my wife and I did at the beginning of their business. They work extra hard to get things off the ground and they always say ‘someday’ they’re going to slow down, re-connect with their family and re-build those relationships.

Someday is like tomorrow — it doesn’t come, and that often leaves you with years spent not hanging out with your family and no relationship to rebuild.


For those in any type of relationship I want to point you to a great podcast we’ve just started listening to at my house, called One Extraordinary Marriage.

We still have our struggles but the last few months have been some of the best of our marriage. With more trust in your partner/spouse it’s so much easier to stay focused on work while you’re there.

As part of running your business well, start making your relationship a priority. If you don’t get to it today you may not have a relationship to work on in the future.

photo credit: clement127 cc

One response to “Being effective at work starts at home”

  1. John Locke Avatar

    Hi Curtis:

    As a person who’s getting married for the third time (to my partner in crime of eight years), I can testify your work life will never prosper if your home life is neglected.

    In my younger days, I was guilty of workaholism, and it was a factor in my second marriage ending. But that discord at home can’t help but spill over into your work life as well.

    You can’t compartmentalize your work and home life and expect them to have nothing to do with each other.

    Your spouse is always your most important human relationship. They have your back in all things. They deserve your best, not what’s leftover.

    Starting a business with kids is tough. Ours are older, so it is much easier to balance. But teenagers have their own sets of challenges and concerns, so perhaps it’s a wash.

    Bottom line: make time for your spouse or prepare for rough waters.