Amy and I are moving all the blogging around Startup Marriage to a new place starting – well – now. This will be the last post here and I’ll eventually delete this blog since everything has been moved over the Startup Life blog. Oh – and we’ve changed the name of the book to “Startup Life.”
All of your comments have already been migrated – the only fail on my part is the feed (which I couldn’t port from WordPress to FeedBurner) and anyone who subscribed by email so you’ll have to resubscribe.
The new site is part of Startup Revolution, which is the name of the series for the four books I’m currently co-authoring.
- Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City
- Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur
- Startup Boards: Reinventing the Board of Directors to Better Support the Entrepreneur
- Startup Metrics: Making Sense of the Numbers in Your Startup
I’ll be launching Startup Revolution and all the corresponding blogs next week so you can get a sneak preview of them in their non-finished state if you want some amusement.
In the meantime, thanks for being part of the community – we hope to engage with you a lot going forward.
Although many of you may feel like you’re taking an involuntary bath this week because of the wild gyrations in the public markets, we’re going to encourage you to take a real bath in your bathtub as a special treat.
It can be difficult to change gears from the stimulating environment of the office to be fully present with your beloved in the evening, especially if your commute home is just a continuation of your day, with email and texting (not while driving, please!) and crossing items off your To Do list until the very moment of arrival.
A bath when you first get home, ideally with candles, soothing music, and bath salts like lavender or geranium, provides a wonderfully intimate and physically relaxing time to either talk or not talk and let the cares of your day fall away. Your evening will be more calm, and you might even be inspired to enjoy some adult activity before being exhausted at bedtime.
About a decade ago Amy and I started taking a week of vacation off the grid every quarter. No email, no cell phone, no meetings. I give Amy my phone on Saturday and she gives it back to me a week later.
A few years ago I did a TEDxBoulder talk on this. In an effort to personalize this blog a little for those of you that don’t know us, here’s the story of how the Qx vacation came to be, how it works, and what you can expect to get out of it.
For those of you who don’t think you can do a week, try a weekend. It will change your life.
This weekends’s idea for free fun is:
Go outside and look up into the night sky.
Step AWAY from the computer. Put your phone down. Stop typing. Take off the headphones. Stop watching television. And even though Apple makes that awesome star mapping app, the point of this exercise is to be enveloped in silence and wonderment, ideally while holding hands with your beloved.
Then you can come back inside and watch the Hubble Ultra Deep Field movie while still filled with wonderment.
This week’s Try This is deceptively simple: Listen.
Along with Four Minutes in the Morning, developing a habit of really listening to your beloved on a daily basis has many longterm benefits, especially building trust and intimacy. You’ll need to figure out for yourself what “really” listening means in your relationship, but at a minimum it involves direct eye contact and not multi-tasking. We’ve haven’t always been great at this simple thing in our relationship, which has resulted in some annoyance (mostly on my part) and some humorous entertainment.
While I generally think that humans are more alike than we are different from each other, and that men and women are spread across a spectrum of gendered behaviors, I do think there are some communication styles that tend to be clustered in men or women. In general, women want connection and to feel heard, while men want to solve problems and have agency in the world. This may not be the case in your particular relationship, but it’s worth articulating for yourselves.
The entrepreneurial partner will benefit just as much, if not more, when his or her turn comes to be listened to. Your beloved can be (ideally should be) the most trusted person in your life. When it’s time to talk through pivotal business decisions, or vent about an annoying employee / partner / investor / customer, or just tell someone what you’re really thinking or feeling (scared, tired, elated), you’ll have a strong habit of communicating and knowing that there’s a person in your life who will always listen to you.
I know the expression “talk is cheap” is meant to be derogatory, but the truly nice thing about talk is that it’s not just cheap – it’s free (it’s even called free speech sometimes) and it’s an excellent way of creating connection and intimacy with your beloved. We will discuss other, more adult rated ways of creating connection and intimacy in future posts, once we get to know each other a little better.
Each Friday we’re going to suggest some free fun things to do for your weekend together. This week’s free idea is List Making.
I love lists. If I were a character in The Matrix, I would be the List Maker (although the Keymaker would be a close second choice). While making lists may not sound like a fun idea for your weekend, it’s actually an excellent catalyst for exploratory conversations in which you get to think about the future, think about things to do together, and have fun talking to each other. And even if you don’t love lists, you can engage your beloved in a conversation about whether he or she loves lists!
One of the wonders of a lifelong relationship is realizing that it takes an entire lifetime to really know someone while at the same time you know your beloved better than you know anyone – sometimes even better than you know yourself. It’s one of the paradoxes of love.
So the lists I’m thinking of aren’t the grocery list or your task list or lists that make you feel even more burdened by responsibility – these are lists of things you might agree or disagree about, or already have some history of checking off, or you can make your own lists.
Here is a list of books of lists (a meta-list!) to give you ideas for your own lists:
and for the less outdoorsy to see before you die:
Books often cost money, but they still have these relic artifact things called Libraries where you can borrow books for free.
And executing on your lists will likely cost money, but looking forward to being able to execute is actually part of the fun.
So enjoy your list making conversations, and share some of your lists here!
When Amy reached a point of exhaustion with me in 2000, we decided to create some rules and structure. At the time I was having a huge problem defining any work related boundaries – work spilled over into everything I did, consumed all available time, and then crept into any of the cracks that were left over, like a perfect gas.
I have an engineer brain so I respond well to structure. While the idea of having some rules and the corresponding structure seemed very “not romantic” at first, it turns out that it’s incredibly romantic, especially if you measure the results – which is what engineer brains really care about.
A lot of these ideas will show up in our Monday Try This: topics. They’ll include things like Life Dinner, Quarterly Vacations Off The Grid, Always Answer Your Phone When Your Beloved Calls, and No TV In The Bedroom.
As always, we look forward to your suggestions – we’ll even try them out and see how we like them. Join the conversation – give us some of your favorite rules and structure to enhance your relationship.