Talking tech since 2003

People always talk about the importance of having a great co-founder when you start your company, and while I’m not undervaluing the importance of a co-founder I think we have been ignoring or at least not acknowledging another super important person in a founder’s life: his/her girlfriend/boyfriend/significant other.  Of course, this post is based on the premise that you have a special someone in your life when you found a new company.  If not, well, it will still be an interesting read.

A few weeks into when I started working on BestTechie full-time back in October 2012 I began noticing something that I honestly didn’t foresee happening.  My girlfriend, Mandy, started playing a role in the company.  No, she’s not technically involved in the day to day operations or anything, but just as I do, she lives and breathes BestTechie.  It’s a big part of both of our lives.

Now Mandy and I have been together for over eight years now and needless to say we are very much in sync — to the point where we can complete each other’s sentences, thoughts, and often find ourselves thinking the same things.  The reason I bring that up is because if you just start seeing someone and are founding a company during the same time it may prove very difficult.

We live together in a one-bedroom apartment with our cat Zuck and she is constantly aware of what’s going on within the company.  And not because she overhears things I’m talking about or because she reads the site (she does by the way — Hi ev!), but because she takes a real interest in what we are doing, and perhaps more importantly she takes a real interest in seeing me succeed and being happy.

Having a great girlfriend in my life during the process of building my company has been invaluable, especially as a single founder.  She offers support in several different ways but perhaps the most important three are:

1. Mandy keeps track of the big picture when I’m feeling founders guilt.  She’s always there when I need a boost or that extra reminder to look at the forest and not the trees.

2. I’ve talked about this before, but you really need to take breaks and step away sometimes.  Your brain needs to rejuvenate.  Weekends are a great time to do that.  If I didn’t have someone outside of work to spend time with I don’t think I would ever stop working.  It’s easy to blow off friends occasionally, but when you are in a committed relationship you tend to listen to that person a bit more.

3. Since Mandy is aware of what’s going on in the company she can offer great insight in decision making.  It’s always nice to get a fresh perspective.

If you are planning on founding a company should you go out and find a girlfriend/boyfriend?  Obviously you can’t force love, but its certainly helped me.  Yes, Mandy’s like the co-founder I never had, but she’s also more than that.

So with that I reach out to you: are you a founder who has started a company and been in a relationship?  Did it help you or or not?  Leave a comment!

[Image credit: PandoDaily]

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