Starting and running a small business is stressful. I'd say it's almost like cheap therapy...all your shiiish comes up to greet you as you try to manage and sell. During those times it's great to have a support system you can count on, right?
But what if you spouse doesn't get you and your entrepreneurial ways? What do you do then? I'm developing a course on how to talk to your spouse about business. My question is: is this something small biz owners struggle with or just me? (lol)
I'd love to hear your experiences below or if you're shy here
I Totally agree. My wife and I have our own separate businesses but they work hand and hand. She is absolutely an important part and supporter of my business and I or hers. You have to have a harmony and respect in your relationship to where you always support your other half's dreams. It could come in the form of being the biggest cheerleader and spokesperson, or it could come in the form of them saving you from making a mistake opening a business. Not being supportive can be a difference maker in a relationship aswell.
I am an accidental entrepreneur. After I had my first child, my company laid me off. I was fortunate, I was offered a generous package and decided I would hang my own shingle. My initial goal was to keep my skills up while I had young kids. While being supportive of my business from the beginning, the first year
my husband would tell our friend my job was a hobby. The second year he called it an “expensive hobby”. Last year he lost his job when his company pulled out of the US. My “hobby” now supports us completely. He has moved from being an outside observer to rolling up his sleeves and digging in. Together, we manage the kids and my business. I figure if I can teach a civil engineer how to do quality human resource consulting, than I can teach a business owner how to manage their employees and give them the skills to manage them. He misses his black and white world, as Engineering is, and is looking for work, but without this road bump in his career, he never would have been as supportive as he is today.
Karolynn, I heart you- thanks so much for sharing. Engineers are their own special breed, aren't they? :) I consulted to Polaroid for a while and learned to love their quirky ways. Enough to marry a numbers guy ( close relative of engineers- lol).
Like your guy, when his company laid him off, my husband became an uber-reluctant accidental entrepreneur. I knew he'd excel at his own firm and could make it big. His family, not so much. No one supported his decision to start a biz, except me. And, I was ecstatic to have another entrepreneur around. Good news- he quickly went on to build a 7 figure business.
Not so great news, he never learned how to be supportive of others. He struggles to understand my business teaching others to be more powerful & communicate that way. That it takes time to educate a market and gain their trust before your sales flood in as the gurus say. He's looking and anxious for the same fast growth for my biz, while I've had 4 businesses & 18 years to recognize 'you can't hurry love; you just have to wait' when it comes to customers.
I brought this up because I sense in others that same sense of loneliness I feel about not being able to talk shop with my loved one. And, yes, we're all together on this fab site (thanks Alyssa!) but we're not sharing this emotional part of the climb to success. I'd like to percolate on a solution for this, but first want to make sure it's something that needs fixing.
It was certainly more difficult to share the high's and low's before he had to join my company. Thankfully I found a great resource in my local SBDC office. But like your business, mine is one that people don't see immediate ROI in what I do and often don't see value. I volunteer a lot and found that giving a lot of "free" advice eventually led to people paying for it. That is where he found it to be an expensive hobby. Additionally, he is French and in his culture, they don't voluteer. Now I can point to giving a free webinar usually equates to getting a few paid gigs. But he only "gets" it now because it has been our sole sorce of income this past year. Good luck with your quest! I am sure you will be successful!
Thanks Karolynn. Perhaps part of the answer is having a system to show one's spouse, like you did, that progress is being make, even when $$ isn't.
Success, as you know, is a habit, so I expect to rock this!
It is definitely something that has an impact on many families.
My business is internet-based and so I work from home. My wife can find it confusing when I am "working" and when I am not. I often mix the two together and handle personal and business items all day. However, it doesn't mean I am available to go to the grocery store or pick up the dry cleaning.
Overall she is very supportive, it just takes communication. I do not get off at 5pm every day, and sometimes things come up late evening that require my attention.
I work from home with my partner and three children. This is a major challenge, but it works brilliantly.
As the children are getting older it is easier, and I can work harder on the PC than on the housework. Honesty and good communication is the key I think. That's how we work, and the buzz of hard work rubs off on the children too.
Our roles swap and change depending on who needs a break, or has the most pressure. Every day is different and I love the versatility. We are all a really solid team that seem to make it work - so far.