Being an entrepreneur is hard – the relentless questions, the insane demands, and the occasional hate mail. And I am not talking about your clients, I am talking about your spouse.
Maybe you married the wrong spouse (it happens), but more often than not it is a communication breakdown. If your spouse doesn’t support your business, here are five ways to get your relationship back in shape.
Different Life Goals – Sometimes the lack of spousal support for your business masks other underlying issues. Maybe you have different values, expectations or life goals. You may be focused on making money and your spouse may be putting family first. Neither is wrong, of course, but communication is critical. Have a sit down with your spouse and discuss your life priorities. Seek ways to support each other in achieving all the goals.
Two Ears, One Mouth – Someone once said there is a reason God gave us two ears and one mouth. . . we should listen twice as much as we speak. Entrepreneurs are notorious for their bad listening skills. Sometimes our spouse isn’t being unsupportive as much as they feel they aren’t being heard. The advice here is easy, the execution is the hard part . . . just listen, for once.
Are You Speaking The Right Language? – One of the most powerful books on spousal communication is The 5 Love Languages. My wife and I use the principles of the book in our relationship and it has helped our marriage flourish. Read the book and apply the process. Then have your spouse do the same. Chances are you just communicate your love for each other differently.
Bring Back Balance – Building a new business often requires burning the midnight oil. But all that attention on the business, means zero attention for your spouse. Bring back balance by spending quality time with your spouse. A dinner out, hitting the gym together, chatting with friends or watching your favorite show together is just as important for you as it is your spouse. And because your are an entrepreneur, don’t expect this to happen spontaneously. Schedule it, just like you would a critical sales meeting.
Let Them Help – Give your spouse simple (or challenging) tasks to do in the business. Make sure they are tasks that they enjoy doing and in an area where they can truly contribute. When you and your spouse are working toward the same goals in the same business, it can work wonders in bringing about understanding and support!