Non-supportive spouses. Ah, can’t live with ‘em, can’t… well you probably get the idea. Especially if you were intrigued enough by the title to read further into this post. Last week, we talked about a couple of tips for dealing with some of the common issues to help bring your spouse on board with reaching your ultimate business dreams. This week, we will tackle a couple more.
You are a Starter and Stopper – As dreamers, entrepreneurs, thought innovators; we may have a tendency to “start” a lot of great business ideas only to have them (or our own desires) falter and stop seemingly before we’ve even begun. With a track record of starting a lot of (in their eyes) unsuccessful businesses, our spouses may find it far-fetched to believe THIS is THE ONE that will make all the difference, no matter how much we believe it.
Action Step: Start by making sure this is really a business you want to stick with long term. Don’t kid yourself or pretend that it is. Either you are in love with it or you aren’t. If you aren’t, don’t try to convince anyone, even yourself and especially not your spouse, that you will be with it long term. If, however, you are absolutely sure this IS the one, share with your spouse why you feel this particular business is different than the other 2, 5, dozen businesses you have tried. Tell them what makes you know it is special and why you feel it will be the one that makes all the difference.
Next, get them on-board by encouraging them to be an accountability partner. Tell them what your daily or weekly goals are and let them see you reaching those goals.When they see you hitting all or even most of your targets, they will likely begin to see that you have the follow-through to make this business succeed.
Your Spouse Doesn’t Know Where the Money Will Come From - If you are currently working a job (and plan to quit) or are already financially strapped, your spouse may wonder where you plan to come up with the money to support your business dreams. If they feel like they will have to have more pressure to cut back while you are going after this dream, they may feel resentful.
Action Step: Create a business plan. It may not need to be as detailed as the one you would consider submitting to a bank to obtain a loan but taking the time to outline exactly what your business will do and where current funding will be coming from can alleviate the unasked questions your spouse may have. Share with them ways in which you will still meet your current financial obligations to the family while you establish the new business. Be ready to answer a few questions. Where will the money come from to start the business? What will you do if the business needs more money before it succeeds? When will you consider it time to move on? What will you be willing give up to make it work? What, if anything, do you expect them to give up in the mean time? How will you keep your spouse updated on the progress of your business so there are no hidden surprises?
The more we share with our spouses, the more likely they will be to embrace (or at least not fight against) our dreams. Keeping things hidden is a sure way to create tension and lack of support.
When to Seek a Life Coach
Sometimes we need extra help. Consider contacting us to set up a session in the following situations.
- Often, we find it difficult to talk to those closest to us. If you find this to be the case, consider a couples coaching session where an objective person can help to create better understanding for both individuals.
- If you find it challenging to come up with clear answers to some of the questions suggested above, it may be helpful to talk it out with a trusted coach or adviser before discussing it with your spouse.
I will be featuring more tips on how to deal with non-supportive spouses next week. In the mean time, I’d love to hear about your challenges and/or solutions in managing your own non-supportive relationships in the comments below.
Read Part 3 for more tips.