Relationships and running a business?

Today is the 6th anniversary of being a single Mum. During the past 6 years I’ve had other relationships, even been in love, twice, but today was the day 6 years ago that my husband, and partner of 13 years moved out of marital home.

Fundamentally, our marriage broke down due to my other relationship/s: Starting, and running, not one, but three business.

My first and current (love) business is Drew London. A fiercely independent brand and multi disciplined London design agency. My second was an eco friendly cotton bag e-commerce company. I sold a lot of bags, but never made a bean! My third start up was an experiential creative agency set up with three alpha males… and me!

Business Two: Care About The Future. E-commerce cotton bag site from 2005–2010.

You see, once you’ve gotten a taste for starting up a new business, well, that sort of lights a fire inside of you. A ‘no fear’ fire. A fire that shines to other like-minded people and before you know it you’ve got a poker in several different fires. It’s exciting, it’s all consuming, it’s unstoppable.

Business Three: Together Creative Collaboration. Experiential Marketing Agency. Partner from 2008–2012

Several married friends run their business alongside their spouses. Their partners at the helm with them. I get this. I understand it. Together, this brings a deeper understanding of the pressures of running of a business, an understanding that’s seen, and not assumed, for the best part doesn’t need to be communicated. And there’s my crux: Communication. But here’s the joke: I studied Visual Communication as a degree, but Human Communication was not my forte, neither was it my husbands. So before we could reconnect we’d grown far too far apart, we had stopped communicating a long time ago.

Funnily enough, my ex-husband, also a graphic designer, was going to join my team, however, as my agency grew I knew that he didn’t have the skills I required. Nor did the thought of being responsible for the mortgage, child care fees and two salaries fill me with joy. I felt that the responsibility would be too great and resentment from me would set in.

I often ask myself: Would we still be together if we had worked together? Sadly the answer is “No”, however, what if we’d communicated more? Shared the load? Maybe he’d helped more with the child care? Cooked more often? Helped tidy up? Maybe if I’d asked him to help more… would we be together? Possibly.

But ‘possibly’ isn’t good enough for me, and for that all of my doubts disappear.

I was meant to be a single Mum. It’s a gift. It’s taught me so so much: Patience, kindness, organisation, love, affection, care and humility.

Ahhhh but what about being a business owner, single mum and dating… well that’s where the real hilarity begins. More to follow.

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