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Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur Hardcover – January 14, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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From the Author: 10 Quick Tips to Incorporate into Your Entrepreneurial Relationship Today

Brad Feld
Brad Feld
  1. Never Schedule High Priorities Activities or Deadlines on Fridays: Doing so will likely create a scenario that drifts into Friday night, Saturday, and then Sunday. Always be realistic about the ebb and flow of the work cycle.
  2. Don't Bring Up Charged Topics at Bedtime: Your bedroom should be a sanctuary and a safe haven from the demands of the world. Never start a conflict when your you and your partner are in bed and dozing off to sleep.
  3. Laugh and Laugh Often: We believe you can never hug each other enough, say you love each other too much, or laugh too often.
  4. Apologize and Forgive: Practice apologizing when you hurt your partner's feelings. Offer forgiveness when your partner has been careless with your feelings. Know that you will try to be your best self but that you will often fail and will need to hone your apology skills.
  5. Have a Life Dinner Once a Month: Make a reservation right now at one of your favorite restaurants. Go out--just the two of you. Buy your significant other a gift. Turn off your cell phones and hand them to the other person. Spend a long slow dinner enjoying each other's company.
  6. Set Limits on Technology: You do not need to do just one more e-mail right before bedtime. You really don't. You need to sleep well and restore yourself and reset your brain chemistry during a nice night of rest. Those who need to take breaks from technology are often the least likely to do it.
  7. Live Where You Want to Live: Pick the place where you want to live and build your life around it. Our contributors to the book, Mark and Pam Solon, say "We believe it's important for young people embarking on their lives to realize that geography matters in your happiness quotient and that it can even out--weigh the highest-paying job opportunities."
  8. Life Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Another contributor to the book, Dave Jilk, says "If I could send my younger self a message from the future, it would tell me to treat my career more like a marathon than a sprint."
  9. Commit to Each Other's Dreams: "Recognizing that one's partner is pursuing their dream, they are satisfied down to their soul and, in so being satisfied, are that much more alive. That level of aliveness is a gift few partners can ever give, and successful couples recognize this," say Tim Enwall and Hillary Hall.
  10. Always Answer His or Her Calls! While it might seem like a small gesture, the cumulative impact of doing so on a regular basis shows your partner they matter to you.

Review

"There have been many thousands of pages dedicated to successful entrepreneurship, but rarely a word spoken about leading a successful entrepreneurial life until the release of “Startup Life.” In what I consider to be the first must-read book of the year, Amy Batchelor and Brad Feld artfully tackle the subject with an astonishing level of transparency and authenticity. No subject is off-limits, including emotional struggles, sexual intimacy, financial decision-making, and family planning."
—Forbes, 1/23/2013

“One of the most appealing aspects of Startup Life is that Brad and Amy are not dogmatic. They offer various suggestions from their own lives, as well as vignettes provided by other startup couples, which Brad believes make the book more impactful and balanced…Although the book’s ideal audience is an entrepreneurial couple on the front-end of their relationship, even veteran entrepreneurs can learn something from Startup Life.” 
—Forbes

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118443640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118443644
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I like so many others am solidly in this book's target demographic. I've been lucky enough to be a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and happily married for almost 20 years. Having said that, it hasn't all been easy. My wife and I were separated for almost a year as we difficultly learned many of the lessons in this book. If I could go back in time and hand this book to my younger self, it might have saved us much angst. I really appreciated the openness of all the contributors and will be recommending it within the founder community of my hardware accelerator.

It feels to me as if there are three life phases you can read this book in:

1 - As a younger entrepreneur with less relationship experience who absorbs some of this material but now has a permanent pointer for when they really need it in the future.
2 - As an entrepreneurial couple in the midst of relationship issues. So many of the things that were pointed out seem obvious now, but in apex of my marital challenges, this book would have been a godsend. Or a smack in the head!
3 - As more mature entrepreneurs who glean tips and reminders to stay on course, plus a desire to pass the book onto fellow entrepreneurs and couples in phases 1 and 2. I'm working hard, as an example, to incorporate shorter Qx vacations for my wife and I. In my limited experience with Qx, they really spur creativity and a remembrance of why life is awesome.

The one phrase from the book I can't get out of my head is "you can always make more money but you can't make more time"

It is ironic that I finished the book traveling on a business trip, but I couldn't wait to get home.

Brad and Amy did something brave in writing this book. They were open and honest.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is a good read about people currently in relationships with entrepreneurs, however I was looking for more general tips and techniques to helping you cope with the ups and downs of entrepreneurs. I wished Amy's perspective in the book was brought out more because she is the one who was almost ready to break up the relationship and then decided to stay with Brad.
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Format: Hardcover
Having been through a couple of startups already, I wish I'd had this book before. Amy and Brad share a tremendous number of practical and useful techniques that they have developed over the years. From simple ideas like having four minutes in the morning to the life meeting once a month, these are practical suggestions that can help any relationship and not just startup relationships. My wife and I developed some similar techniques such as regular "business" meetings and time management buffer to compensate for lack of teleportation. The writing style is clear and easy to read which makes the book go by swiftly.

The book also has dozens of short vignettes from friends of Brad and Amy which provides some nice alternative points of view. After reading them you almost feel like you were dropped into the startup world of Boulder.
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Format: Hardcover
Super practical book filled with lots of advice with specific tactics tailored to common relationship hurdles. Each chapter addresses a separate topic so you can readily skip back and forth based on interest. After the intro it quickly became a page-turner as it touched on many situations I have personally experienced. I immediately recommended it to my co-founder who a few days later encouraged his spouse to read it too.

A much needed reference that spells out potential pitfalls and provides realistic approaches to deal with some of the most difficult issues in an entrepreneur's personal life.
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Format: Audio CD
This book is an amazing collection of insights about finding the balance between aspiration and love. It lays out a really wonderful framework for building communications. There are so many resources for Entrepreneurs about growing their company, but maintaining relationships seems to get lost completely. The underlying message seems to be that "balance does not exist", "deal with it", or "fix it after you exit". I had always felt that my family deserved better.

This book takes real life examples that apply specifically to those trying to build a company while maintaining their relationship. It is honest and pragmatic, but fundamentally supporting and kind. There is a difference between a company and a relationship, and Brad and Amy do an exceptional job of exploring that. Great to hear coming from folks that have done it!

What is truly unique about this work is the stories. Brad and Amy give an uncensored views into the function and disfunction in their relationship, and that honestly is really refreshing. They acknowledge the blemishes and work to smooth them out. Every story has a takeaway and a method to improve. They have found some really nice and simple ways to keep a couple in synch, and we have already tried a few.

What I loved is that the stories in the book are not only from Brad/Amy, but a number of great founders, and allow for everyone to make their own conclusion. Each entrepreneur talks direclty about personal stories, and what they have found that works for them. There is a nice buffet of approaches, and this advice from the front lines is invaluable. I come back to many of the stories in my mind constantly as things get busy.

This book has had a profoundly positive effect on my relationship already. it has brought about a new and deep understanding. I highly reccomend reading this with your partner, and taking on the conversations that spark.
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