One of the biggest struggles small business owners face is getting their spouse to support their efforts. Whether the business is brand new or something that has been putting along for a while without ever really taking off, there is a great need to have the one we are closest to support and encourage our efforts. Sometimes it requires a bit of selling and a lot of creativity to get the spouse on board.
After starting to work on this post, I quickly realized that it could become very lengthy. Therefore, I’ve decided to break it down into multiple posts with just one or two tips each.
In and effort to get more support and encouragement, there will be some active things that you can do with your spouse that will allow them to better support your business efforts and there will be some passive or indirect things to do as well. A combination of both things will ideally work the best. Let’s start with a couple of tips.
Your Spouse Doesn’t Understand Your Business – One of the first mistakes we tend to make as excited entrepreneurs is to latch on to an idea for a business and jump in with both feet. Even if we have taken the time to fully research and understand what it is we are getting into, we may not have taken the time to share this information with our spouses.
Active Solution: Schedule some time when neither of you is currently experiencing major stress or emotional extremes when you can sit down with your spouse to share with them just what your business is all about. Help them to understand what it is you see as the potential and share with them what research you may have done to alleviate any doubts you may have had when you started.
Your Spouse Has a Fear About Money that Doesn’t Have Anything to Do With You – You’ve heard the old saying about bringing baggage to a relationship? It’s true. We all have baggage to bring. Some more designer than others. Even if we have learned to deal with much of the obvious baggage, there is a lot of not-so-obvious baggage that always seems to stow away. Growing up, we have a lot of things influencing our beliefs around money. Some of them good, but many of them, not-so-good. Your spouse may have learned a rather pervasive fear about money from their parents (“money doesn’t grow on trees” and other fabulously damaging phrases), society and culture (think the Depression and now the Recession as our children grow up with this influence), peers, etc… These fears can place a block so strong, that your spouse may not even recognize it and yet, it may be a source of tension between you that presents as lack of support for your business ventures.
Active Solution: We certainly can’t expect to change other people. We can only hope that, by changing ourselves, we may influence them to create a positive change for themselves. If your spouse is open to it, suggest that they read the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. In addition, they (and you) could attend a great three day seminar, Millionaire Mind Intensive which goes into a lot of detail about overcoming past fears about money. These are some amazing life changing tools if your spouse is willing to participate.Your spouse may not be the willing type though. Give it a shot first before deciding for them. When you have at least made the suggestion that this could be beneficial for both of you (rather than saying “YOU NEED THIS”) and they have opted not to participate, then and only then, do you take the next step.
At this point, all hope may seem to be lost. It may seem as though your choices lie in either leaving your spouse or giving up on your dream. In Positivity on Purpose, I talk about how to deal with negative people. Tip one says: First and foremost, BE SURE of what you are doing. Have confidence in yourself and the choices you are making for your growth. If you have doubt in yourself, it makes it all that much easier for those around you to doubt the new you and the healthy choices you are making. Any little gap in your armor of confidence allows them to find your weaknesses and utilize them to pull you right back down to where you were. You MUST KNOW with all of your heart that you are doing what is best for you and those around you.
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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.
In the weeks to come, I will be featuring more tips on how to deal with non-supportive spouses. 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 2 for more tips