Treat your love life like a start-up?


The average successful start-ups have 3.8 failures before they succeed, as founders learn from mistakes and move on. What would happen if you applied the same mindset to relationships?

Young people are told to be entrepreneurs, to take risks, try new things, and, when things go bad, summon the courage to try again. The entrepreneurial approach to business and work is popular, so can you treat your love life like a start-up?

What would happen if you approached your love life ... like you did a start-up?

What would happen if you approached your love life … like you did a start-up?Credit:iStock

Arthur Brooks, author of the new book From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life, says we can. In a recent YouTube video, the writer argued that a start-up mindset should be used when approaching romantic relationships.

“Failure is part of start-up life. Entrepreneurship isn’t really about business creation. Entrepreneurship is about creating explosive rewards, it’s about faith in resources you don’t currently have on hand. It’s about a vision of a better future,” he said.

Brooks argues that “falling in love is the biggest start-up enterprise anyone can engage in.”


Dr Owen Spear, a Melbourne-based clinical psychologist specialising in couples therapy, says the metaphor is a novel way of approaching life’s relationships.

“It’s sort of like having a business partner, and you are working together to see if you can … build a strong business, with the business being the relationship,” he reflects.

“Just like a start-up, you would absolutely assume you have to do ongoing work after the initial excitement has worn off. You’ve got to keep working on a relationship even after the six-month honeymoon period is over.”


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