Dinner for One; Balancing Work and a Love Life

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / May 13, 2014

The first lesson I had to learn as a young CEO was how to properly manage my time.  While starting your own business, it is important to remain flexible and have the ability to adapt. At 24, I was literally learning on the fly and facing new challenges each day. The second lesson was how to properly portion dinner for one. The seat across from me at the table was always empty. I understood a serious romantic relationship would restrict certain freedoms.

When entering our early 20’s, our relationship status is simply something we update on Facebook in hope of earning a few “likes”.

We are young, educated, and ambitious.

We don’t know exactly what it is we want to accomplish in life, but we do understand the importance of preventing anything from getting in the way of doing so. For some of us, this includes sacrificing our full potential by committing an adequate piece of precious life to a significant other.

We date casually and often because we like the feeling of having someone there, at least when it’s convenient for us. Commitment is something we designate to other aspects in our lives. Whether it is work, a start-up, education, friendships or simply having a good time, our commitment is maxed out. We typically don’t have any desire to fully commit ourselves to a relationship that has the potential to affect other aspects of our daily routine. Especially when we know there is a possibility of something better out there than what we currently possess.

Unlike our parents, we are holding off on marriage and parenthood. Not out of rebellion or lack of respect for monogamy, but because we know there is something special and powerful that comes with being single.

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love life

There is a certain drive and fire inside of us.

The same drive and fire that is needed to achieve our own personal ambitions in life, specifically if that includes becoming a CEO under the age of 30.

Don’t get me wrong; there are a handful of individuals who possess that moxie to widen their peripheral vision while reestablishing their tunnel vision towards career triumph. They can juggle a love life while pursuing their professional goals. It takes a truly unique person to balance both their ambitions as well as a family.

With being single comes freedom and options.

Each decision is made without much consideration for others. Family and friends are the only limitations. You have the ability to look out for not only your best personal interest, but also the best interest for your company. I don’t look at this as selfishness and neither should you.

It only becomes selfishness when you DO fully commit with a wedding ring or by bringing a new life into the world. This is when your best interest should be at the very bottom of the totem pole. For this reason alone, I had been reluctant to actively pursue a committed relationship. Because I understood when I did, my drive for success would gradually or possibly suddenly take the back seat.

We have the ability to manipulate our brain, but our heart can never be touched.  Your brain may leave room for indecisiveness and questionable decisions, but your heart will tell you exactly what it is you want. This is why love has the habit of finding us when we aren’t necessarily looking for it.

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For this reason, we shouldn’t fear eating alone or hesitate to pull up a chair.

Take advantage of every phase in life, as you don’t know what tomorrow may bring.  When you have that inner drive and fire, put it to use, that empty chair that is across from you today, may be filled tomorrow. For years I was capable of fooling my brain while attempting to convince my heart that I still have some work to do, alone.

Although I still believe individuals are more ambitious and driven when single, now nearly 26 years old, I understand ambition and drive has the potential to come in many forms.  When you truly care for someone, you feel a different type of pressure to succeed.


Not only are you looking to change your own life, you also want to change theirs. The weight on your shoulders nearly doubles, as you are responsible for the life of another person. You don’t have time to have a bad day. You can’t make excuses or feel bad for yourself. Your actions throughout the day ultimately affect the result of another’s.

Just as much as you need support in your career, or your business, it is just as important to have that support in your personal life. In the beginning it is difficult to find a balance, but what joy comes from success when you don’t have anyone to share it with.

I now make dinner reservations for two, and business has never been better.

Jarad Barr is the founder and CEO of Barr Locals, the newest way for Columbus, OH to experience the local bar scene as well as a Realtor at RE/MAX Metro Plus. Jarad is also an avid writer as the author of the Amazon eBook series, Young and Hungry and on his blog, thebarrpursuit.com.

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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