What They Don’t Tell You About Relationships and a Career: How Do I Balance Love and Work Life?
When I first launched Gehati in 2011, I was excited because I had a brand new business to nurture and grow. In that same year, I also got into a very serious relationship. During that time, I faced many challenges in an attempt to balance love and work life until 2016.
Now that I can look back and reflect on that period of my life, I noticed a trend during the course of two separate committed relationships I was in over a 5-year span.
Relationships always won over my entrepreneurial growth.
I didn’t know how to nourish them both at the same time. I didn't know how to separate the two—therefore, I could only deal with one at a time and I chose the relationship.
So, I had to be in financially-stable relationships that could pick up the pieces because honestly, I wasn't ever bringing in enough income. My business lacked security for a very long time.
Is it possible to find a healthy balance between relationships and a career? Love and work? A social life and entrepreneurship?
When I was in a relationship, I would let the stresses of it take a toll on me. Because of that, I couldn’t focus on growing my company the way I knew I needed to. Fast forward to now, and I regret every bit of letting myself go to something I don’t even have today.
Throughout my 20s, I spent 7 years in relationships. I was even engaged at some point.
But - looking back on it all now - I honestly feel that I spent my entire 20’s running after wind. I only have one thing to show from my last relationship, and that is my son.
Yes, I experienced fulfilling personal growth after the birth of my amazing little boy! But, I also lost big time in growing my entrepreneurial career. That had nothing to do with becoming a mother, but rather becoming too focused on investing in the wrong relationships.
I lost a sense of awareness in who I was as a young woman.
I depended on the relationships to provide me with what I wasn’t providing myself. This included things such as money, love, happiness, peace, independence, and strength.
The timer went off, the light bulb turned on and the candle blew out once I had my son and became a single mom.
About a year after I had my son, I went out with my girlfriend and met this nice guy that I tried being in a relationship with (because I’m a relationship girl). Honestly, I got burnt out and fast.
After that, I finally took time to readjust my outlook on life. I asked myself these questions:
- How did I want my son to view me?
- What kind of lifestyle did I want to provide for my child?
Once I had a thoughtful answer to each of those questions, I realized something very important.
It was time for change.
If I didn’t want the same stale results I was getting from my past, then I had to get bold and honest with myself. It was time to remove myself from the situations I was putting myself in.
I had to come to grips that relationships had to go on the back burner for the time being. It was important now more than ever to focus entirely on my career and life as a mom.
Now, let me be clear... I am not giving up on dating at all!!!
However, it is not a priority or goal of mine at this moment. I owe it to myself and my son! Now is the time to give myself the opportunity to see how far I can go in life as a businesswoman and as a mom.
As a businesswoman, I need to see if I can grow my company to where it’s staffed. As a mom, I need to see if I can afford private schooling and extracurricular activities. I need to see if I can qualify to build my dream home. I need to see if I can accomplish one of my goals of paying off the mortgage on my parents' home.
So, before, I share my life with a significant other, I have to give myself time to empty some of the tasks off my plate.
As I’ve been growing on my journey, I realize that I can’t expect someone else to give me what I can’t give to myself.
So, what happens next?
For me, the next time I entertain a relationship, it needs to be for the reasons of wanting a companion and someone to share life with. Not for the reason that I need someone to come in and make my load a little lighter.
I’m not looking or aiming for those lopsided relationships where one person pursues their life long dreams. While, the other sits back and just supports or make sure the house is squeaky clean. You see, that was how my stale past operated. I got no joy or fulfillment out of it. However, my bright future doesn’t operate down a one-sided street, anymore.
Building a business and nurturing a relationship doesn’t mix well into a beautiful cake for me.
In the last year and a half, I have been more successful than in the last 7 years that I started my business. All because of where my attention and focus has been.
I’ve even come a long way in my confidence as a woman. I don’t look to the right or left to find my identity. I simply search within and go with what makes me feel good to do. Even when it comes to being a single parent and raising my son… I look at him for validation on whether or not I’m doing a good job.
I don’t look to the outside to tell me how to be a good parent. I don’t worry about what makes sense to others, I focus on what makes sense to me. I believe that when you give yourself the gift of self-love and confidence—the doubting your own ability goes away and you start walking into your destiny.
Unfortunately, you can get very lost in relationships and wake up years later and hate that you let life go past you.
Does that mean that you can't have both a love life and explore a business journey?
As I've been very honest in this post, I have to say that I always found it difficult. But, this is one of those topics where you can research and look for an answer through every crevice of the internet... but at the end of the day, it's your own decision to make. Every individual is different; we all have various wants, desires, needs, and circumstances.
Some of you may have loads of success in finding peace and harmony at balancing multiple aspects of your life. But, for me, it's been much easier to focus on growth in one area at a time.
If you try to succeed at all things, you will succeed at nothing.
So, my advice to you is to seriously consider your circumstances stances and decide on a path that'll help you get where you want to be.