By Darrah Brustein, contributor to Entrepreneur.com, as well as founder of Equitable Payments, Network Under/Over 40 and Finance Whiz Kids
Today’s current 50 percent divorce rate is evidence enough that marriage is challenging. But, what if you impose an extra challenge on top of that? How does having one or both partners be entrepreneurs impact the likelihood for marital success?
To find the answer, I spoke with Trisha Harp (pictured), spouse of an Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) member and founder of the Harp Family Institute (HFI), which focuses on the impact that entrepreneurship has on relationships and, inversely, the impact relationships have on businesses.
Harp has dedicated her career to studying the effects of entrepreneurship on relationships, and she’s is no stranger to the topic herself: She is the daughter of an entrepreneurial marriage and is married to an entrepreneur. After continually hearing terms like “entrepreneur’s widow” as well as stories about the overwhelming failure rates for entrepreneurial marriages, Harp chose to write her master’s thesis on “Spousal Satisfaction in Entrepreneurial Couples.”
En route, one thing that stood out, she says, is how “many entrepreneurial researchers reported how vital the spouse/support network was in an entrepreneur’s life, but [how] little data had actually been collected to determine just how important.”
Now in her post-graduate phase, Harp has spent the last decade gathering data and interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs and their spouses, to learn “as much as I can about the best practices of the most satisfied couples.”
Overall, she says, her data has confirmed that when entrepreneurial couples—couples with at least one entrepreneur in the household—follow a few key steps, their relationships, though challenging because of the business, are not doomed.
Read the full article on Entrepreneur.com to discover the six findings that may give you some hope for your own entrepreneurial relationship!