The Only Thing Harder Than BEING An Entrepreneur…

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…is LIVING with one!

So much is made of the challenge of taking an idea from your head, making it manifest in the world, then growing it into something real and substantial. A business. A movement. A body of work. A legacy.

I’ve embraced this challenge many times, and will no doubt do it a bunch more. It’s a simultaneously glorious and grueling journey that often utterly consumes you, sending you hurtling almost violently back and forth between the edge of the abyss and the bliss of success.

Entrepreneurship ain’t easy. But, for those drawn to it, it also ain’t optional. Click to tweet

Even if it means doing it within the umbrella of a larger organization.

But, what of those who fall for entrepreneurs? What about the people who become attracted to hurricane of humanity and energy that is a person possessed with the desire to create?

How do you build a real, lasting, nourishing relationship with an entrepreneur when there’s nearly always a suitor in the room? Is it even possible? And, if so, how? It’s a dance I continue to explore in my own life every day as I build my relationship with my insanely cool wife and delicious daughter.

In this week’s Good Life Project, had the opportunity to dive into this topic with Meg Cadoux Hirshberg. Meg is mother of three, an Inc. columnist and author of For Better Or For Work.

She’s also the wife of Gary Hirshberg, the founder of Stonyfield Farms, now the world’s largest producer of organic yogurt. Over nearly three decades, she’s ridden the waves up, down, been thrown into the surf and found her way back many times as the family business grew from 8 cows on a farm to a $360 million global brand.

Meg knows what it’s like to build a family with someone who is deeply committed not only to her, but to a personal and professional quest. She’s endured the trial of a business that took 9 years to even break even, while her mother’s retirement savings funded the run. She’s lived and breathed every aspect of building a life “beyond” the family business, while also building one “around” the business.

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a mission-driven creator or you are a mission-driven creator, you need to hear what Meg has to share.

Click here now to watch this week’s episode>>>

Then, answer this question in the comments –

Have you ever been in a relationship with a mission-driven entrepreneur? What’s it been like? How have you handled the challenges?

And, if you ARE that entrepreneur, what’s it like from the inside looking out? Trying to build a substantial business or movement while also yearning to build a real, personal relationship with someone?

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8 responses

8 responses to “The Only Thing Harder Than BEING An Entrepreneur…”

  1. Tammy Renzi says:

    First, I just wanted to thank you,Jonathan, for writing Uncertainty. I finished it last night and my husband already feels like he has read it because every night I share the best tidbit. He also gets the run down on our morning walk.

    In response to your post, my husband and I are fortunate in that we were able to create a business together. We merged classical guitar (him) and teaching reading and writing (me) into a business we can run together. We are able to work on marketing, growing, and sustaining a business together. Quite a difference from the life we were leading just seven years ago. It’s a small hive, but I hop out of bed every morning delighted at the day ahead!

  2. Meghan Leahy says:

    I am married to a successful entrepreneur and it kind of sucks sometimes. He has taken the knocks, he is accustomed to risk, he is not afraid to piss people off to stick to his standards and values.

    I am learning how to do all of this. He get frustrated with me as I learn…

    But it is go great to live and love and work near someone who GETS it.

    We totally support each other, and our marriage is stronger since I have become a biz owner.


  3. Jessa Slade says:

    I’m a writer and my sweetie is a musician. I can’t imagine trying to live my passion without someone who completely understood the why, commiserated with the how, and committed to the long-haul when. Our creative cycles are similar (novel compared to album) which is lovely when we’re in the throes but can get ugly, too, in the lows. We have a rule that only one of us is allowed to be the angsty artist in any given moment 🙂

  4. Hi Jonathan,
    This is a subject that isn’t covered nearly enough, maybe because so many entrepreneurs are focused so specifically on the how-to stuff. Don’t get me wrong. That’s all really important, but this stuff is too because it gets to the heart of what it means to be an entrepreneur. In many ways it affects the whole family and people who think it won’t are mistaken. As someone with plenty of personal experience in building relationships and families in the shadow of entrepreneurship, I found this interview both enlightening and inspiring. Thanks!

  5. I am glad to see that you are continuing with your podcast interview. I visited the yoghurt company and listened to Gary Hirshberg in the 90’s. It was during my studies at SNHU.

  6. This was some great insight on a really interesting topic that I’ve been much more focused on in the last few months. I AM that entrepreneur and I know it can be difficult for my boyfriend and my friends because for the longest time, the business was my baby. It still is but now I’m working on being much more present with my life and realizing I got into business to enjoy more freedom. I make sure to make time for the important people in my life now.

  7. […] Family feud. Regulations and government officials aren’t the only challenges facing entrepreneurs. One of the challenges is, well…just being an entrepreneur. Growing a business can be tough on personal relationships, including your family. In this interview columnist and author Meg Cadoux Hirshberg, wife of Gary Hirshberg, founder of organic yogurt company Stonyfield Farms, talks about the personal side of the equation. Jonathan Fields […]

  8. Ti Roberts says:

    This is a great post and I’ve never run across an article such as this. Thanks for addressing this topic.

    I’m the entrepreneur and it’s challenging trying to build up a business while being in a relationship. In previous relationships often times my spouse would feel like they were getting the short end of the deal and felt like I was ignoring them or that they weren’t important. This is very difficult to deal with and to be quite honest, this has been some of the main stressors of my past relationships.

    However, today I’m with a beautiful person that fully supports me, my dreams and what I do. It’s such a blessing to be with someone like that and I love how encouraging and motivating it is. I think having a supportive spouse makes all the difference.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post with our BizSugar community. I enjoyed and and I appreciate it!