Isolation can also be brought home. And because the nature of the relationship at home with your partner is more intimate, I think about isolation differently.
At home, isolation leads to the creation of what’s known as an entrepreneur’s widow(er).
Next stop, relationship breakdown.
As a first time founder in 2008 I struggled immensely with communicating the challenges I faced each day in building my company to my loved ones and in particular my partner.
Some challenges were petty, others were significant and at the end of each long day, exhausted and with traction and capital waning, I often didn’t have the words to describe the current state, let alone find a way through it. And at the end of the day, I didn’t want my partner to be burdened with my challenges.
I started this venture.
These were my issues to solve.
I was also convinced that she wouldn’t understand, not because she wasn’t capable or thoughtful, but because she wasn’t in the trenches. How could she possibly understand and even if she did, where would I start?
But she felt the same stress, angst and jubilation that I did. It’s easy to forget that our partners are riding the same rollercoaster
as us. They carry the load when business travel calls, they provide encouragement from the sidelines, and they help pick up the pieces when luck is in short supply. And they do all of this with only a fraction of the context and information in our heads.
By the way, if you’re a founder and thinking ‘thanks, but this isn’t a thing’, you’re either single or about to become single.
Relationships fail when information sharing stalls
In most normal, low-pressure environments over-communicating is the act of repeating the same message ad nauseam.
The context for founders is usually different. They usually under-communicate with their partner. The good news is that over-communicating is straightforward but like any disciple takes practice.
And at its core over-communicating means finding common ground to create a shared understanding that will short-circuit angst while further strengthening a relationship.