Start, Love, Repeat - How to Stay in Love with Your Entrepreneur in a Crazy Start-up World


How much do I want to read more? 7/10

This wake up the entrepreneur soul in each of us. Being passionate about many things, and trying to combine different domain to find an original idea.
It's funny to read about the psychology of entrepreur that actually had the guts to leave a comfortable salary paid job, and try their own venture.
But this book is overall how to find a balance when work and personal life have no boundaries.
What's interesting with this book, is getting in touch with the entrepreneur's passion. Going from boring to exciting. Finding a purpose, and being animated, instead of living in a quiet despair.


Foreword

As a writer and the spouse of an entrepreneur, Dorcas is eminently qualified.
the unspoken reality is that an entrepreneurial venture sucks the entire family into its vortex.

Ever since Meg’s book was published, I’ve advised every entrepreneur I know to read it with their spouse.
For a business to survive, the entrepreneur has to be all in, or the business doesn’t stand a chance. The intense focus required by this passion, Stimulated by the endless series of challenges, what feels to us entrepreneurs like a long series of sprints is often a lonely marathon for our mates.
I wholeheartedly agree with Dorcas about the importance of shared mission in keeping an entrepreneurial marriage alive.

Introduction

Our first child, also known as social enterprise d.light, has led to countless missed holidays and broken appointments; it has contributed to physical illness and emotional meltdowns for both of us;
Ned and I have had years-long disagreements about work-life balance, time management, and quality of life.
Today d.light is a thriving multinational business with hundreds of employees across five continents.

We tend to stereotype entrepreneurs as uniformly young and single, but the truth is that nearly 70 percent of business founders have spouses, life partners, or children.
the entrepreneur that has most captured our imagination is the Steve Jobs–Mark Zuckerberg–Jeff Bezos–Elon Musk type.
You may be in a committed relationship with one of these entrepreneurs, and to you I say, Good luck. Hopefully the years of striving and sacrifice will all be worth it when you can no longer keep track of the number of zeros in your bank account balance.

This is the book I wish I had when Ned and I were preparing to say our wedding vows. I would still have married him, but understanding how deeply Ned’s professional choices could affect me would have given me the chance to build my support network, gird my loins, find a really good therapist, and do whatever else I could to ensure that the pursuit of his dream wouldn’t come at a cost I was not always confident I could bear.

Relationships, like businesses, take quite a bit of investment for them to last.
Several therapists I’ve interviewed have said that someone faced with challenging or unexpected circumstances should ask this most powerful of questions: What is the opportunity in this?
Our willingness to see everything that comes our way as a chance to learn and grow and try something new could be all we need to keep ourselves grounded and our relationships thriving.


1- Meet the Entrepreneur

My husband, Ned, entered college thinking he might like to major in music. Then he decided to be pre-med. Then he considered astronomy. Then audio engineering. Then physics. Electrical engineering. Environmental science. Computer science.

The issue, we both realized much later, wasn’t that Ned lacked focus. The challenge was that he wanted to focus on everything, to understand a bit of nearly every field.
We both should have known he was going to grow up to be an entrepreneur.
He promptly found a job as an audio software engineer. I felt relieved that he was finally settling down. He had a real, stable, well-paying job.
Then, six months later, Ned quit his job. He had been miserable, his soul slowly suffocating under the weight of silent coding, socially awkward coworkers, and organizational politicking. He had no idea what he was going to do next. But he knew he didn’t want to be an engineer.

Ned wanted to do something creative with music and technology, and after a few months of brainstorming and experimenting, he and a couple of buddies decided to develop personalized children’s music. They composed and recorded their own music, and developed an algorithm that seamlessly inserted each child’s name into the songs. Their families fully funded the business. I did not put in a cent of my own money, but I contributed countless hours burning CDs (the height of audio technology in the early 2000s), sticking on labels, and stuffing envelopes.

By the time we got engaged a couple of years later, in 2003, Ned was on to his next business. He had realized the children’s music market couldn’t be profitable. The market was too niche, the distribution network too limited. Instead he was going to record and sell original mobile-phone ringtones.

one of the top reasons company founders give for starting up is that they do not want to work for someone else.

when Ned informed me just a few months before our wedding that he wanted to attend business school at Stanford University, the leading educational institution for entrepreneurship in the country, I thought of being married to someone with an MBA, who was being groomed to flourish in our broken capitalist system, was horrifying to me. He might as well have told me he was running off to join the Taliban.
I realized soon after that my concerns were entirely misplaced. I should have been worrying about our marriage and our finances instead.
I barely saw my husband for two years. The MBA has sometimes been called "the divorce degree".

A couple of months into the school year, Ned began talking about a project he and his classmates called d.light to create affordable lighting products for the developing world.

The box was filled to the brim with Google swag—a bright green athletic jacket, a rainbow cap, a blue Frisbee, pens, and other assorted tchotchkes. It was official. Ned had accepted a job with an excellent salary and great benefits at Google, that most giant of Silicon Valley companies. He would be managing an entrepreneurial team that developed new products and brought them to market. It was the best of both worlds: Ned would get to exorcise his entrepreneurial restlessness, and he would be paid handsomely to do so by someone else. I wanted to dance a celebratory jig as brightly colored Google health insurance and financial security rained down on me from the ceiling.
he was going to turn down the position at Google and work for d.light instead.

Ned would be making less than half of what he would have made at Google. But in all the years I had known him, I had never seen him so animated. He was energized, motivated, driven—a man entirely confident in his calling to do this very business at this very moment. He was no longer running away from what he hated; he was running toward something that excited him and was, by every measure, incredibly meaningful.