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Love & Entrepreneurship: Relationship Therapist Misha Granado On How Spouses & Relationships Impact Entrepreneurs


If you have ever been in a relationship with someone who is an entrepreneur, then you know it can have its fair share of ups and downs. Although most relationships do, there is something unique about those ups and downs when it comes to being with an entrepreneur. We were able to catch up with Misha Granado, an alumnae of Florida A&M University and Prairie View A&M University, who is herself and entrepreneur through her company Love Grows, a relationship consulting firm, to discuss what all comes with loving and living a life with an entrepreneur.

A relationship with an entrepreneur is not for everyone, what “warning” label would you put on entrepreneurs for those considering dating or getting into a relationship with one?

As an entrepreneur you are the only one who truly knows yours schedule, goals and needs for both your professional and personal life. It is imperative to be extremely clear on who you are and the characteristics and qualities that compliment and constrict both you and your goals. Reflect on your previous relationships (historical markers) to identify what does and does not work for you. Also, it is important to be honest with yourself about where you are on your journey.

If you are interested in a relationship, ask yourself, “What type of partner complements me?

  • A fellow entrepreneur? If so, what type of entrepreneur? Someone at the beginning stages (idea)? Growing? Established?
  • An entrepreneur who also has a corporate gig?
  • Someone with a demanding corporate career requiring significant time and dedication outside of the house?
  • Someone with a career with a traditional schedule (M-F) but has an active personal life who is self-sufficient?
  • Someone who is artsy and a free spirit who does not require much ‘hand-holding’ from you?
  • Someone with traditional relationship expectations?

Do you have the resources (time, energy, emotional and mental bandwidth) to co-create and co-nurture a relationship or is a social, casual dynamic more feasible? There is no universal right or wrong answer, only the only right for you. Once you are clear on who you are and your needs have honest, unapologetic conversations with potential partners.

All entrepreneurs are not the same, but what are some baseline ways you believe spouses and significant others can be supportive to their entrepreneur partner?

Significant others and spouses can be supportive to their entrepreneur partner by:

  • Holding the vision of the overall goal(s) – Being an entrepreneur is not easy and there will be many moments where the stress, loses, delays, frustration, fear, anger, despair, panic, etc obscure the vision of your entrepreneur spouse. Having the skill and ability to hold the vision for him/her at all times, but especially in these moments are key. Remind them of their why, the reason they embarked on this journey and all of the ways they will succeed.
  • Informative – Are you knowledgeable about their entrepreneurial endeavors? You do not need to be an expert in the field but showing real interest is very supportive. By having a bit of knowledge of the industry, goals, challenges coupled with knowing your spouse you become a wonderful asset because you can help with troubleshooting, be an empathetic ear, strategize and/or provide support. Of course this varies per entrepreneur. However, some entrepreneurs desire a ‘mental break’ from their work and prefer not to speak business with their spouse, which is okay as well. Knowing your s/o and what they need is another way to be informative.
  • Patient – The entrepreneur life does not follow the trajectory of other fields nor does it provide the ‘comfort and safety.’  On this journey income may vary significantly depending on project, climate, acquisition of clients, etc. Traditional hours do not exist. Sacrifices are the norm. Questioning self seems to be scheduled on the calendar daily. Therefore a s/o who is patient is a welcomed reprieve. Patience varies for each couple.

What are some common issues you see that arise between spouses and entrepreneurs in relationships? How do you believe couples can get ahead of them or best deal with them?

One of the most common issues between spouses and entrepreneurs is unspoken expectations. Each partner has expectations in their head for the other but has never articulated it to each other. As a result, needs go unmet and resentment silently builds meanwhile the partner is oblivious. It is similar to your employer setting goals for you without telling you only for you to discover you did not meet these benchmarks during your annual review. Unspoken expectations are a set up for failure. This is unfair.

The best tool for any relationship is transparency, vulnerability and honesty. For both partners to articulate to each other their expectations, needs and areas where they desire more support. If you do not feel emotionally safe to be vulnerable with your significant other, seek therapy to identify the barriers that serve as a hindrance and gain the tools and healing needed to overcome this barrier.

An entrepreneur sees the world in a very different way than most people. What are the ways spouses can impact how an entrepreneur sees the world?

The relationship one has with self, determines and influences all relationships in their life. In a partnership, especially a romantic relationship due to the intimacy of the space, both parties have the ability to impact each other in a negative or positive manner and this can influence the way partners view self and the world. This is such a delicate space because of the direct access to the heart and mind. A spouse who has unmet/unspoken expectations, resentment, frustrations, etc will knowingly or unknowingly begin to engage in behavior (i.e. passive aggressive, argumentative, petty) that constricts both their partner and the relationship. This behavior increases the entrepreneur’s stress level impacting business, creativity, productivity etc. Whereas, a spouse who is happy with self, articulates their needs and wants, feels fulfilled, supported, loved will demonstrate behaviors (i.e. encouragement, support, joy, happiness, consideration, patience, kindness, etc.) that complement the relationship and their partner. The latter has the ability to change perspectives. When we feel seen, heard and validated we feel inspired, energized and creative all of which are excellent for business.

Women entrepreneurs have an even tougher road ahead of them typically. So for the men/women/partners who love them, what advice would you give specifically to the support and love that will be needed?

Whether it is the entrepreneurial, corporate, artistic or the academic route, unfortunately women are not treated equitably. This adds another layer of stress to the already taxing entrepreneur life. As the partner behind the scenes supporting a woman entrepreneur, perhaps the best way you can support her is by knowing her, implementing and executing what she needs when you know she is stressed, excited, hopeful, disappointed, etc. If you do not know what she needs during these various spaces, ask her directly (when she is not in it). For example:

  • How can I support you when you are scared?
  • What can I do when you are stressed?
  • How do you like to celebrate your wins?
  • What would make your daily routine run smoothly?
  • How can I support your business?

When she needs/wants to vent about something before she begins ask: What do you need from me in this moment? A sympathetic ear? To help strategize a solution? To serve as your hype man? Knowing which role she needs from you is important, because she does not always need you to fix it. Sometimes she just needs to vent to effectively move that stagnant energy through her. Other times she just wants you to listen and validate her feelings.

A relationship is not all about the entrepreneur and in that respect reciprocation is important. How can entrepreneurs, who are often demanding a lot of their significant other/spouse, ensure that they themselves are being good partners?

Make your significant other a priority. The business will always be there. There is always something to do. You can always fill each minute with something for the business. Place weekly dates on the calendar and be fully present. Inquire about your significant other and their life and developments. This is a no business/dumping zone, instead it is a place to renew, restore and reciprocate all of the love and support your partner has and continues to give to you. Invest in your partner as well. Show up for your partner and be fully present. If you are attending an event as his/her/their date, be engaging, light, and attentive. Implement a cut off time where you disconnect from gadgets and connect with each other.  This is also applicable if children are involved. Time is one of your most precious commodities; invest it intentionally with your loved ones.

How can relationship counseling help a spouse and entrepreneur keep a happy and loving relationship?

Therapy always begins with the individual even if you are in a partnership. This is because individuals bring everything with them into the relationship (experiences, values, culture, perspective, emotional wounds, isms, insecurities, fears, family dynamics, beliefs, etc.) and all of these influences and determines the quality of the partnership. Now add the stress of an entrepreneurial journey to the equation and there is plenty of material here for therapy *wink*.

The benefit of therapy is having an objective person who provides a safe space for both parties to explore their emotions, identify expectations, stressors, goals and tools to address each. Therapy allows each person to speak, be heard, seen and validated. Also, therapy provides strategies; tools and techniques the couple can implement to help cultivate a relationship that is nurturing for both parties. Additionally, therapy provides different perspectives which are extremely beneficial in those times where a couple cannot agree. This alternative option may be the very catalyst to re-establishing or establishing a healthy relationship baseline.

You can follow and contact Ms. Granado:

www.mishaNgranado.com

Twitter & Instagram: @lovegrows_misha

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Love Grows Founder/President Misha Granado Talks Entrepreneurship On Today’s Leading Women Show


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HBCUpreneur Misha Granado recently sat down with Today’s Leading Women host Marie Grace Berg to discuss her firm Love Grows, entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and a host of other related topics.

An excerpt from the interview where Ms. Granado talks about her willingness to learn as one of her strengths and how it helps her as an HBCUpreneur, “I am willing to learn. I realized that I don’t have all the answers with this entrepreneur journey or with my business or even in life and so I am willing to learn from others. I am willing to make the investment if I need to take the class or  to obtain a mentor or take a workshop or something like that. Not to go to Miami for the weekend or long weekend which I would want to do – hang out on the beach, absolutely. But as an entrepreneur to transfer those funds, invest those funds into something that will help me grow my business and become stronger. To read a lot of other experts in my field. What’ s going on, I want to be abreast of what other people are doing. How do they see the world? How do they address relationships and love? All of those things, again because we are all connected can spark something within me or maybe even shift a way I have seen a particular situation.”

For the full interview click HERE.

Read Misha Granado & Love Grows’ feature on HBCU Money’s The HBCUpreneur Corner HERE.

The HBCUpreneur Corner – Prairie View A&M and Florida A&M’s Misha Granado & Love Grows


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Name: Misha N. Granado, MPH,MS

Alma Mater: Prairie View A&M University (1998), Florida A&M University (2004/2007)

Business Name & Description: Love Grows: The Relationship Consultants is a boutique firm specializing in improving all relationships, beginning with the relationship one has with self. We use a strength-based, love centered approach and offer services: Bringing Love into Existence (counseling, interactive workshops), Speaking Love into Existence (lectures) and Writing Love into Existence (books & editorials) to help our clients heal their emotional wounds in order to experience an amazing life and relationships.

What year did you found your company? 2010

What was the most exciting and/or fearful moment during your HBCUpreneur career? Love Grows is more than a business, it is a lifestyle, my purpose and life work therefore the opportunity to make a sustainable living and life doing what I love, which is to grow love is absolutely amazing. Love is one of the most sustainable, renewable resources we have and unfortunately many people are not maximizing their potential because of the various blocks (unhealed emotional wounds) that prohibit the movement of love through their life. Love Grows is doing our part to help people heal their emotional wounds in order to love self fully and others better; and in that way we are an environmental company as well, making the world a better place one relationship at a time.

In my life and as an entrepreneur, I learned quite quickly that there is no room for fear which affects my vision and critical thinking because valuable time and energy is spent thinking about the worst case scenario instead of possible solutions. Although unexpected situations may occur, I now choose to view them as opportunities to be creative, to find the most optimal solution to this new challenge. A ‘challenging situation’ presented itself during the late summer when I received word that the building where I had my office had been sold (I did not know it was on the market) and myself (along with the other tenants) had to find a new space. I had only been in the office for 5 months and had invested a great amount of resources to convert the space (wood floors, painted, new fixtures, etc.). I had acquired new clients and now needed to find a new space that was inside the loop, artsy, offered 24/7 access and had beautiful energy (yes, energy is very important to my business).

Although Houston is a large city, it is somewhat challenging to locate a ‘non-traditional’ office space inside the loop that is artsy and would allow me to renovate the space to my specifications all under $1000 and this was the challenge, to locate such a space without disrupting my clients. Since I no longer operate from fear, I was able to view this as a challenge and began to explore various ‘non-traditional’ spaces to determine if any of them would work for Love Grows. During this exploration time, I also contacted the property manager at a beautiful location that was significantly out of my budget when I inquired earlier this year. Well I was in luck, this magnificent space had expanded and the new space also carried a lower price tag than the original space and Love Grows had a new home. If I would have operated in fear, I would not have thought to contact the property manager and I may have made compromises to what I wanted and needed from a space.

What made you want to start your own company? Prior to beginning Love Grows, I had 10 years counseling experience which included an adjunct professorship. I implemented a ’10 minute freestyle session’ in my Introduction to Psychology class, which provided the students with the opportunity to discuss current events or any other topic of interest. This was implemented as a way to unite the diverse student body that ranged from freshman to seniors. Trust and rapport was quickly established and these 10 minute sessions, quickly turned into a ‘therapy session’ of sorts. My students revealed all type of experiences and it became evident that these young people did not have a healthy outlet to process their feelings and when given the opportunity all they wanted (and needed to do) was get it all out. This was a class that swelled to 150 students (some of whom were not registered) who showed up every session because we were able to create a safe space to grow. After the course, many students inquired if I had a book or if I was available for individual therapy sessions. This is when I knew I had a gift, the ability to establish and nurture relationships in which people felt safe to share. Life is comprised of relationships, and the relationship one has with self, determines and influences all the relationships in one’s life. Through years of professional and personal experience, I knew that the key to improving the relationships in our lives is to improve the relationship we have with self. In the summer of 2010, I established Love Grows: The Relationship Consultants with the purpose of helping others heal their emotional wounds in order to love self and others better, which would ultimately improve their relationships.

Who was the most influential person/people for you during your time in college? At Prairie View A&M University, Drs. Janet Beal and Kevin Washington and at Florida A&M Unviersity Drs. Huberta Jackson-Lowman and Cynthia Warrick.

How do you handle complex problems? As a creative being, my complex problems require open space, I literally have to get out of the building and step into nature. I take my shoes off and wiggle my toes in the grass. It is here under the blue skies, breathing natural air and the absence of gadgets (yes, I take a notebook and pen with me on these journeys) where I begin to view the situation from all angles. I identify the resources I have access to and the ones I need to obtain. I create a plan and the steps needed to execute.

What is something you wish you had known prior to starting your company? More information about the funding available to entrepreneurs.

What do you believe HBCUs can do to spur more innovation and entrepreneurship while their students are in school either as undergraduate or graduate students? Allow more critical thinking in the classroom. Unfortunately, I think many programs are focused on teaching information and the students who have great memories are the ones who usually perform the best, repeating the information; however, I think the true key to learning is to provide a concept and allow students to build around or from it. To partner with entrepreneurs and establish a mentorship program where students have direct access to people who are actually built and are living their dream. There are infinite ways to achieve success and success varies for everyone. The opportunity to have a mentor who truly invests in his/her mentee is priceless.

How do you deal with rejection? I know I sound like I am the one repeating information now *lol* but my answer remains the same, perception. I view rejection from one as the clearing of space for another.

When you have down time how do you like to spend it? I adore art and beauty and like to spend my time engaging in both. I recently began painting (acrylic) and actually completed my first painting Dec. 1 (a great way to begin the month). I also adore traveling, especially internationally and being that relationships are my life, spending time with vintage (established) and new friends and loved ones.

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What was your most memorable HBCU memory? Oh wow, it has to be from my undergraduate years at PV, spending time with the ‘Cali homies’, the shenanigans that took place on the yard, the parties and the simple life we had back then which consisted of class, friends and beginning the journey of discovering who we were and who we were meant to become.

In leaving is there any advice you have for budding HBCUpreneurs?

  1. Do not be afraid to have astronomical dreams!
  2. Get a mentor, but do not ‘rewrite’ your dream to mirror another’s so much that it is no longer your own.
  3. Shift your perspective (unless you are a trust fund baby *lol*), becoming an entrepreneur will require you to redirect your discretionary funds into your business.
  4. Learn to delay your gratification, you may not be able to go to Miami for Memorial Day Weekend with your friends, but you can redirect those funds into revamping your website, purchasing other materials/equipment/etc. for the business, paying the office rent for a few months or investing in yourself by taking a course, attending a retreat, etc.
  5. An entrepreneur lives a very different life than the individual working for someone else because the entrepreneur has very different goals and aspirations. Your life and the investment of your time, energy and resources should reflect these differences.