There’s something pretty damn inspiring about CEOs. Not only because they were able to master their field and rise to the top, with many coming from very little, but also because of the sheer amount of passion, dedication and well, faith, that comes with the job title. When you consider your professional goals, you might have ‘run your own company’ somewhere toward the top, and for good reason: the benefit of being in charge of your professional future (and of the team reporting to you) is exciting and liberating. But what about being in control of your love life, too?
While having a successful resume and love life aren’t quite the same, they do require those same qualities: passion, dedication, and faith. That’s why business owners can offer insightful — and inspiring — love advice. They’ve not only had to learn how to manage that unattainable work/life balance, but they’ve discovered how to start, run, and flourish in something they love.
Here, nine CEOs share their best piece of dating advice. Who knows, it might just be the pro tip that helps you rise to the top of your latest match’s Tinder feed (or take your existing relationship to a new level):
1. When You’re With Someone You Love, Be Present
“I log over 150,000 miles a year traveling the world for ARIIX. The best piece of advice I have learned from running ARIIX is to make my husband and children my number one priority. In order for me to maintain a proper work/life balance I specifically carve out time between trips to be with my husband and children, after all they are the ones that keep me going. Whenever I am at home with them, I make it a point to be present — usually we have at least one meal together with a ‘no shop-talk’ rule, and I keep my phone upstairs.” -Deanna Latson, founder and chief product officer of ARIIX
2. Try Not to Rush Toward The Finish Line
"As a married mom and an entrepreneur, I try to remember that what I’m signed up for is a marathon not a sprint. In both life and work, I’m trying to build something really solid that will last. Some Saturdays, I’m not at home because I’ve prioritized work — but I often walk out of the offices earlier than other team members in order to make bathtime and bedtime (and my husband does as well)." -Jennie Ripps, CEO and founder of The Owl’s Brew
3. Be With Someone Who Loves What You Love
“I’ve been in two serious relationships since starting my company nearly 20 years ago. There is a stark contrast between the two, and the biggest differing factor was an interest in what my company does. Find someone who has a genuine interest in what you do.
In my past relationship, the woman I was with had zero interest. She could not understand my frustrations, my wins and my losses. She didn’t care. The problem with this sort of relationship is that the company is the CEO’s baby. It’s as if she had no interest in my son.
I am now married to my best friend, who understands my company inside and out. She is a partner in so many different ways and constantly has good advice and completely understands every challenge, every win, and every loss.
This is so important because there is only one person in the world who has no ulterior motives and has only my best interests at heart. I’ve heard CEOs say their employees are like family, but I believe that’s only because their family doesn’t get what they do. Nothing can replace a true partner in life.” -Jeremy Shepard, founder of Pearl Paradise, Inc.
4. Find A Routine That Lets You Play
“Managing my love life and my business has always been a challenge for me but I've gotten better at it over the years. My best advice is to get on a routine and stick with it. Set boundaries for yourself around your business and make dedicated time per week for your love life that will not hamper your chances of success with building your company.
What works for me is working late every night and getting home at 9:30 p.m. That being said, Friday afternoons and Sunday afternoons are set aside for making deposits into my relationship.
This way nobody is surprised or caught off guard and you and your significant other can fall into a rhythm and not feel cheated. The reality is to make it in today's tough business world your business is probably going to have to be your priority or at least tied for top priority along with your relationship.” -Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal
5. Get Out Of Your Head And Talk To Strangers!
“While running your daily errands, at a cafe or on your morning commute (whether it be on a train platform, parking your car or even waiting to cross the street), force yourself to smile at the intriguing stranger next you and simply utter the word, ‘Hi.’ You really have absolutely nothing to lose except an opportunity.” -Lori Cheek, CEO and founder of Cheekd
6. Don’t Treat Your Partner Like A Business Partner
“Through the years of running various companies, I've realized that you cannot treat your significant other like you would someone in your business life. What do I mean by this? If you send your significant other a Google Calendar invite, or otherwise directly schedule them into your day in your calendar even if it's an 8 p.m. dinner date, the reaction you get back will not be pleasant!
Your significant other wants to know that they are special to you and you will not treat scheduling time with them in the same way that you treat your business meetings. Let's face it — we all do it just to stay organized, especially as our days get more packed. But, perhaps think of another way of remembering those date nights!” -Keith Shields, CEO of Designli
7. Try Your Best To Remain Flexible
“There are a lot of parallels between marriage and running a company. The best advice for both is to be flexible. The only certainty in marriage and business is change and those who can adjust, change and constantly improve will be happy at home and successful in business. Don't be afraid of change or obstacles, embrace them and you will grow and prosper!” -Nick Braun, Founder & CEO, PetInsuranceQuotes.com
8. Listen To Your Partner And Celebrate The Little Things
“Running a business and love are very similar. The number one key to doing either successfully is mastering the art of communication. Listening to the other person, repeat what you heard for clarification, removing ego, understanding what the end result looks like, and willing to be wrong to achieve that end result.
It’s also important to celebrate the little wins. In business, we sometimes forget to celebrate our victories, and in relationships we forget to appreciate the small things.” -Austin Iuliano, CEO of Snapchatmastery.com
9. Remember You Don’t Have To Do It Alone
Maintaining my relationship with my girlfriend has been very difficult, but has ultimately strengthened our bond. As a business owner and also entrepreneur I have gone through some crazy highs (receiving funding to grow the business) to some very difficult lows such as getting unjust lawsuits filed against the business. This has ultimately affected our relationship and really made us go through really difficult times in a very short period of time.
My best advice though came from when I realized that I wasn't the only one feeling this struggle of the lowest lows. As a business owner, I felt like I was the one feeling all of the burden and stress that came from owning a business, but I wasn't. My number one fan was right there alongside me feeling every pain that I was feeling. Both of us didn't try to fake putting on a strong face and be the one who said ‘it will all be OK.’ We went through the most difficult times and we did it together — she's got my back and I've got hers!” -Ryan Chan, CEO and Founder at UpKeep
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