Entrepreneurs are crazy people. Think about it.
From the time we are born and initiated into society, the average person is indoctrinated with the idea that to live the “good life”, you need to go to school, get good grades, get a good job and work your way to the top.
Along with that good job come a number of things that are generally important to the average person.
Things like a stable and predictable income, health insurance and maybe even a retirement account give us a sense of security.
Also, if we work for an established institution, we can be relatively confident that it’ll be around for a while.
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Then there are entrepreneurs. People who decide to go against the norm, venture out on their own – often with no real sense of security.
Entrepreneurs are the risk takers, and in some cases, they are successful.
However, the reality is that most businesses fail in the first 18 months.
Yes, it’s true. If you’re going into business for yourself, you will most likely fail. And I know that isn’t exactly what you want to hear, but it’s the truth.
Breaking the News to Your Spouse
Let’s say you’ve decided to start a blog and want to use it to build a business. You’ve come up with a great idea for a niche and are ready to go.
You have the conversation with your spouse and let them know that you’re leaving your job to start an awesome blog.
You might even use a phrase like – “If Leslie did it, so can I.”
While even Leslie believes that, let's think about what you’re actually telling your spouse. This is what your significant other is hearing when you break the news:
“Honey, I’m so excited about this new opportunity. It’s called journaling. You know – that thing where people share what they had for breakfast.
Yep, that’s the one. Well, I’m gonna do that and people are going to pay me. I’ve decided to leave the security of my job, because The Man is just holding me down.
We don’t need predictable income, health insurance, or a retirement account. We’ll be fine on our own.
Oh, one more thing – I’m most likely going to fail at this.
Oh, and I love you.”
How’s that for a romantic conversation? Ooo baby!
I say that as a joke, but there’s truth to it. If your spouse has the typical mindset (and I don’t say that in a negative way), that’s what leaving a job to start a blog sounds like.
However, there’s hope AND a better approach.
In order to get your spouse to not only buy in, but support your new journey, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- If you have a family, your primary responsibility is to them, not to your new (and potentially awesome) idea.
- Building a business with a blog is still a relatively new concept – one that takes a little while for people to grasp – if the idea is new to them.
Everyone’s tolerance for risk is not the same. You need to understand your spouse’s risk tolerance before taking a leap.
If you were to ask me at the beginning of my marriage if I thought my wife would ever be okay with my leaving a secure job, I would have asked you if you were crazy.
When I started my business, I invested $3 and turned it into $70. Everything that happened since then is the result of that $3 investment.
The first time my wife really saw a substantial return was when she came home on her birthday in 2008 and saw a new living room set waiting for her.
Since then, we’ve been able to pay more bills, travel and do other things that would not have been possible if I weren’t blogging.
I worked my business consistently and it grew to the point where it became obvious that this was something to be taken seriously.
Today I’m a full-time blogger/entrepreneur and my wife is 100% on board with what I’m doing. In fact, once she saw the progress I’d made, she told me that it was a good idea for me to leave my VERY secure job as a university professor.
When she told me that, I immediately quit my job (in my mind – 🙂 ).
I spoke to my boss the next day and let her know that I’d be leaving at the end of the school year.
In summary – I won her over and she was ultimately able to see the potential and felt confident that I could leave my job and we’d be ok.
How to bring YOUR spouse on board
Now that we’ve established the principles, let’s talk about how to actually bring your spouse on board, especially if your spouse is not the kind to say – “Woohooo, let’s quit our jobs and become entrepreneurs.”
I started my online business with a $3 investment, and while I’m not saying that you should be doing the same, I would definitely caution against risking more than your family can comfortably part with.
Explain the process.
Many of us go into business and our spouses are clueless about our ideas or plans. While I’m not saying that your spouse should understand EVERY detail, keeping her relatively informed is a good way to address some of the concerns that may arise.
Work smart and do it consistently.
The quickest way to build a successful business is to invest your all into it. However, the fact of the matter is that if you have a family it’s impossible to invest 100% of your time on your business and be there for your family in significant ways, – at least that’s what I’ve found. So, I recommend that you find ways to work smarter and consistently.
For me, this meant getting help and hiring a V.A. It meant focusing on building an email list. It also meant investing in training with people who had done what I was trying to accomplish and taking action on what they taught. I didn’t have time to figure everything out on my own. And once I figured out what worked, I did it over and over and over . . .
Stick to a schedule.
One of the most difficult things to deal with, especially when running an online business, is that you can literally work around the clock if you let yourself go. It’s easy to become engrossed in what you’re doing and forget everything else.
When you’re a bachelor, this MIGHT be possible. However, when you’re married, that ain’t gonna cut it. My recommendation, come up with a schedule and stick to it. Decide with your spouse how much time you will be spending on your business.
Agree, and then make it happen. When it’s family time, let that time be about family and not business.
Let spouses help in their own way.
My wife isn’t into online businesses much. However, she is into fashion. A few months ago, I had to speak at a conference and wanted new clothes to kinda spruce up my look.
I asked my wife to be my stylist for the event. I told her she had free reign to make me look however she wanted me to look. She was excited and took the task seriously. Of course, the first place she went was Pinterest.
We then went to The Men’s Warehouse and spent too much money (in my opinion). However, she came alive, and played an active part in one aspect of my business. She loved it, and I was complimented on my threads. Win-win situation.
Share your heart.
Most of us go into business for more than just money. For me, it’s about helping others, inspiring people to build something bigger than themselves.
For me it’s also about living a life of Faith and letting that shine through everything I do so that others will become curious about what makes me think the way I do. My hope is for others to want more and find more.
By sharing your purpose and motivations with your spouse, you allow them to see that your idea is more than just a business, you’re getting him to see your mission, and it may well be the thing that wins your spouse over. This definitely worked for me.
Take action and get results.
It’s hard to argue with results. When I bought my wife the living room set, that was somewhat of a turning point. The results of my online business were tangible.
The more I took action and achieved results, the more she believed that my dream was possible. If you want to prove to your spouse that your business will work, make it work and show him results.
Don’t force the process.
Changing someone’s mindset is not easy. You may be battling against a mindset that has been developed over decades. Respect that process.
Remember, you married this person and agreed to take him as he was, entrepreneur or not. Understand that this will be a process and be willing to make compromises.
Respect the time it will take your spouse to be fully on board, and remember that becoming an entrepreneur does not occur overnight. For me, leaving my job to become a full time entrepreneur was a process that took 7 years, because 6 years wasn’t enough 🙂
Your Family Business
Here’s the truth – the business that you’re building is not just about you. It’s about your family, and in that way, it’s a family business. Let’s take it further, your family IS your business.
Building a family isn’t an easy process, and neither is building a business. It’s a journey. Fortunately, it’s not something you HAVE TO do on your own and even if that how it feels sometimes, I believe that the ideas shared
above can really help you bridge that gap and help you move forward together.
The encouragement I get from my wife, helps me build the business; The inspiration I get from my son, helps me build the business.
The fact that we need to pay the bills, and do that thing they call eating, help us prioritize what needs to be done to build the business.
My family is my business and my business is for my family, so in order for me to be as effective as possible, I want to be on the same page with my spouse.
I encourage you to remember, if your spouse isn’t there yet, it doesn’t mean that they will never be there.
Are there things you do or have done to help your spouse be on board with what you are doing in your business? Share them below; I’m always looking for ways to grow and I’m sure your thoughts will help others, including me.
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