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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 101 customer reviews

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Editorial 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 (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eric Klein on August 25, 2013
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 Verified Purchase
The beautiful thing about Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur is that it transcends entrepreneurship and gives great advice to anybody in any relationship. Brad and Amy are brutally honest about making life work with two very smart and driven people. They unabashedly discuss their own faults and how their partner makes up for them, each complementing the other's personality and supporting the other when things get tough. Any marriage would benefit from the advice contained within this book.

The interesting thing, too, is that the book also gives a lot of insight into the lifestyle and habits of successful entrepreneurs, almost like a "Seven Habits" book would. Stories of spending too many hours at the office, not seeing the kids, working while on vacation, all abound. Anybody who is looking to see what kind of effort it takes to live the startup life would also be wise to pick up this book.

Full disclosure: I am married to an entrepreneur and contributed a short passage to this book. I've lived through having my husband take a business call while riding Thunder Mountain at Disneyland, and amazingly we're still together.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting. I bought it when my husband opened his third business and I was living through the inception. The downside is that it discusses living with an entrepreneur mostly if you don't already have kids or as if you are just deciding to marry/partner with an entrepreneur. I would've appreciated some insight into those relationships already established with entrepreneurs when the business didn't run their life and are now trying to cope with a new business that does.
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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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