4 Tips for Workaholic Entrepreneurs to Avoid a Crumbling Marriage

by | BiggerPockets.com

I wrote this article originally for Entrepreneur.com, and they’ve graciously allowed us to repost it here. Enjoy! Also, be sure to sign up for this week’s Webinar here on BiggerPockets! Click here to learn what this week’s live show is all about! And now, let’s get to the post.

I’m recently took a six-week road trip around the U.S. with my wife, and I’ve had the same question asked multiple times on this trip:

How do you spend that much time with each other without killing one another?

Simple: We’ve worked hard at creating an incredibly strong marriage that can withhold a lot more than six weeks in a Prius!

In a similar way, we’ve also worked hard at creating a marriage that can withstand, and benefit from, my obsession with entrepreneurship. The following are four tips that I’ve used to make sure my marriage stays solid while my business grows.

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1. Get Your Priorities in Order.

Businesses will come and go, and I’ll fail at some, succeed at others. But my wife is here for life, so my priority will always be her above all else.

Every decision I make in business must first pass the “could-this-hurt-my-marriage” test. If a choice could hurt our marriage, it’s instantly off the table. It’s just not worth it.

Related: The Quick Exercise to Help Put You & Your Spouse on the Same Investing Page

What does it profit a man or woman to gain the whole world if he or she has no one to share it with?

Value your spouse. Treasure him or her above all other riches, goals and achievements.


2. Schedule Home Time.

Entrepreneurship is rarely a nine-to-five task, but can take place at all times of the day. As such, it is increasingly important for you to schedule dedicated “home time” that cannot be interrupted by your entrepreneurial ventures. Then, stick to that schedule like your life depends on it.

You schedule phone calls with clients, meetings with your customers and lunch with colleagues — so why not schedule time with the one person who matters more than all of those appointments combined?

For me, at 5 p.m., I’m done working. It’s as simple as that. I know some of you are thinking, “I can’t schedule home time because my business is too all-encompassing.”


You can, and you must. If your business doesn’t allow for scheduled times away from work, you are doing something wrong. Stop saying, “I can’t,” and start asking, “How can I?” For more on this incredibly important mindset shift, see Replace These Two Limiting Words From Your Vocabulary.

3. Make Home Time Home Time.

When you are at home, be at home physically and mentally.

Yes, I realize entrepreneurship is exciting and stressful, and it’s hard to “turn off” that part of your mind, but you must. This is an everyday battle for me, as my life revolves around the real estate investments I own and the real estate social network I help run.

Your spouse will know when you are not engaged in conversation because your mind is elsewhere, thinking about that next big purchase, that jerk customer or the competitor who is gaining traction in your market.

Stop it.

When you are working, work. When you are at home, be at home.

Turn off the cell phone.

Don’t check your email. (Gasp!)

Have a real conversation during dinner that doesn’t involve a discussion about work.

If your marriage is valuable, give it the time it deserves and your marriage will bloom.


4. Involve Your Spouse.

Finally, I believe it’s important to involve my wife in my entrepreneurial ambitions as much as she chooses to be. By welcoming my wife’s input, several incredible things are accomplished.

First, she is able to see inside my world and come with me on the exciting journey that is entrepreneurship. We can share the ups and downs together, strengthening our marriage and helping us hang on through the difficult times.

Related: How To Survive When Your Spouse Doesn’t Believe In Your Dream

Involving my wife also allows me to outsource certain tasks to her, so I can get more accomplished. For example, in our real estate investing business, my wife helps with the books and deals with a lot of the contractors who work on our rental properties. She also deals with the attorneys when we need to evict a tenant, which can be an incredibly complicated process, but so much easier with her help.

Finally, if your spouse is anything like mine, he or she probably has an incredibly different perspective on the problems you are trying to solve, and they might have the missing piece to your most important puzzle. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been stressed about a problem in my business, and in just a few seconds, she is able to make everything clearer.


I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have a perfect marriage.

However, I’ve made a conscious decision to value my marriage above and through my entrepreneurship. Have you done the same?

What techniques do you use to make sure your marriage stays strong while your business grows?

Share your comments below!

About Author

Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner (G+ | Twitter) spends a lot of time on BiggerPockets.com. Like… seriously… a lot. Oh, and he is also an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, traveler, third-person speaker, husband, and author of “The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down“, and “The Book on Rental Property Investing” which you should probably read if you want to do more deals.


  1. kara haney

    marriage is a partnership – you are making it an active partnership and you are so right in my eyes – I notice it seems to be women commenting – would love to see some men commenting too.

    everyone does better with a second set of eyes – and every small business needs to delegate to grow – whom else but to the one you trust most?

  2. Chad Carson

    Ok, I´ll be the first male to comment:)

    Seriously, this is an important topic. Thanks for taking the courageous step to write about it, Brandon.

    The life of an entrepreneur can be tough – especially early on. If your spouse doesn’t share your enthusiasm for the benefits of entrepreneurship, how will he/she deal with the MANY, many negatives. It takes a team effort.

    My wife is not as involved in my day-to-day real estate, but I find it so helpful that we are 50:50 partners when it comes to our personal finances. I think it would be nearly impossible to accomplish any worthwhile long-term financial goals without us being on the same page.

    Brandon, I love you focus on practical prioritization of time for your family. My wife and I like to schedule date nights once per month. We also do that with our young kids now. This doesn’t mean it’s the only time we spend together or hang out, but it is a way of telling ourselves that the relationship is a priority. If we can schedule time for REIA meetings, doctors appointments, seller appointments, and everything else — why not make time for family?

    • Brandon Turner

      Thanks for the comment Chad! Your comment on being 50/50 on personal finances – SO true. I know so many people who are not on the same page, and it causes so much strife!

      I’m going to schedule “date night” right now 🙂 Thanks for the reminder!

  3. I think that there are a lot of good points here. Much like your health, if you never take care of yourself, you’re going to be sick more often than if you had. I try to always remember what’s important to me so that if I get excited or sidetracked about something, it never changes who I am or how I do things.

    • Brandon Turner

      Thanks Mike, and yeah – agreed fully. To use an analogy from the book The One Thing, some of those balls we try to juggle can bounce, like work and wealth building, but some of them are made of glass and will break if we drop them, like health and relationships. It’s important to make sure those never get dropped!

    • Linda Summer

      Jay you are in a great position as a single person. Many entreprenuers get started after they are married and find that their spouse is not like-minded which can cause a lot of tension. As a single person you can find a like-minded person before getting married. One piece of advice is to not even date someone who is not like-minded, you don’t want to get emotionally attached to someone who will not support your dreams… just be acquaintances instead. All the best to you and your future family.

      • Jay Johnson

        Linda, thank you for the advice and kind words. I have always thought to have a wife that’s in the business, too. I’m not limiting myself to that, but that’s the way I’m leaning. All the best to you and yours, also!

  4. Dmitriy Fomichenko

    Brandon, thanks for the important reminder and for sharing some practical wisdom.
    “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.” (Proverbs 3:13-14)

  5. Jeffery Griggs

    Great post Brandon!! Thank you.My wife is my best friend. Hanging out with her is my favorite thing to do. That said it’s never always perfect. Like anything else you have to be committed and put the time in to succeed.

    @Jay Johnson like anything…chose wisely when the time comes, don’t be afraid to act, be committed, and put the time in.

  6. Jay Johnson

    Thanks, Jeffery. I like how she’s your best friend, and you like hanging out with her. That’s how its supposed to be. If you can’t enjoy each others company, when it doesn’t involve bedworks, then, that’s going to be a tough relationship to try to build on.

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