OK, so here goes my last and final post of this series…
I think it’s important to summarize what we’ve talked about all week. When I think about the things that I could share, there are hundreds of them. What I’ve touched on this week is what I feel has been vitally important to OUR success, and I believe it is essential to yours as well.
Support your Entrepreneurial spouse
Whether you are involved in the business or not, it cannot succeed without your support. Your spouse needs to know that they are a rock star in your eyes. They need you to encourage them when they feel like they aren’t making progress.
They need you to be there to listen to their concerns, they need to know that you back them 100% in their endeavour.
They also need you to have the guts to say no sometimes – supporting your spouse by putting the breaks on from time to time when you are being stretched out of your comfort zone may be what guarantees the success of the business! So, be that person. If you can’t then the two of you need to step back and work on figuring out WHY before you go forward.
This is important in any phase of business development. It protects the entrepreneurial spouse from burn out, it protects the supporting spouse from feeling left out in the dark, and it gives you both a framework within which you can build your lives.
Visit this one often.
Sometimes boundaries need to be changed to accomplish a goal, finish a project, or grow the business. Keep in mind that when the two of you decide that your self employed spouse is going to put in a “few extra hours” you need to set a boundary for that as well so that the supporting spouse isn’t left eternally picking up the slack.
Protect your time together, and your time as a family (if you have one), if you don’t you may look up in 10 years and realize you no longer have a spouse or family to protect.
Be your entrepreneurial spouses’s sounding board
Ask them about their day, listen to their triumphs and concerns, learn to read the signs of increased stress in their lives.
Talk to them about their clients, projects, tasks, and daily operations (to the degree that this is possible within their business). When you have a “gut feeling” that something is not right, or that they are about to miss out on a great opportunity TELL THEM. You may not understand exactly what they do (heck I couldn’t program my way out of a paper bag) but you do know what makes them tick and your intuition is valuable for them and their business.
Support your non-entrepreneurial spouse
Lastly to all you out there that are burning the candle at both ends to get this business rolling remember that though your spouse may not be working at growing your business they are doing their best to support you.
Make sure that they get the time they need to be the best they can be. This will help prevent feelings of resentment, it will help your spouse to continue to be their own person, and ensure that the supporting spouse doesn’t get overshadowed by your growing enterprise.
As I’ve said numerous times over, we’re not experts in marriage or business. A lot of what we’ve learned has come through trail and error. When I tell you to set boundaries, it’s because we’ve suffered through times when the boundaries aren’t clear and it hasn’t worked well.
When I tell you to be your spouses’ sounding board, it’s because we’ve learned that when we communicate life is better for all of us and Curtis makes better business decisions. I can guarantee that none of these ideas are new, but maybe I’ve expressed them in a new way that allows you to understand them.
I’m sure I’ve borrowed/adpoted some of them the business guru’s that we look up to (I know for a fact that some come from Dave Ramsey, Michael Hayatt, and Dan Miller) but we’ve put them into practice, and also heard them in a million other places. Please, don’t do everything I suggest just because I have suggested it. Do what works for you as a couple and family.
Remember if your entrepreneurial spouse succeeds, you have both succeeded. If they fail, you have ultimately both failed, then it’s time to pick your selves up, learn from it, and move on to the next venture. I hope dearly that you can learn from our experiences and prosper!