I've been hearing it for years. "Entrepreneur's need a supportive spouse. You MUST believe in their dreams." But to be honest, it's tough to entirely buy into someone else's vision. You can catch the excitement, you can feel motivated to push them and lift them up, but to go 100% all in is a different story.
When an entrepreneur has an idea, and they run with this business plan, they believe wholeheartedly that this is going to be "the one." I've heard it a ton, "babe this time it's going to work." Sometimes it falls flat. Sometimes it's a complete disaster. The entrepreneur brushes it off nurses their wounds and starts to run the race again. The problem is the spouse is supposed to do the same. That is not always realistic. Just because you're ready to run, you still must hold space for your spouse until they are ready to jump back in with you.
For me, sometimes the pain of loss was too big to just move forward at the same pace as my husband. I needed a minute. It takes time to build an empire. There are a lot of trial and errors, starts and repositioning and sometimes a complete pivot in a different direction is necessary. As the spouse during these times, I felt out of control, worried, frustrated, scared. I learned the hard way that sharing those negative feelings isn't always the best move. Because although the entrepreneur is back in the race, the sting of failure is breathing down their neck. When you voice your doubt, it gives validation to their uncertainty. They then have to prove themselves to you too.
Yes, you as the spouse have the right to voice your feelings, but timing is critical. I made this mistake over and over throughout the years. In the heat of failed business endeavors, I would puke words of doubt and fear and rightfully so, there were times that we lost everything, but because at the time we were standing in the fire it was like fuel, and it never ended well.
The entrepreneur must realize that it's okay for your spouse to catch up, that slowing down to catch their breath isn't a bad thing. Guarding themselves against hurt is a sign of self-preservation, not doubt. They are in this race with you, but you're the visionary, and it's up to you to lay the track for your journey so your family can stay on the path.
The spouse must realize that they are responsible for their security. You must find your footing. Entrepreneurship is ever-changing, and it's up to you to create your normal. Guard your energy and mindset. When you hit play on the negative record that's saying, "this is too hard. Why don't they just get a job? This isn't how I saw my life." Stop that noise and focus on the good. Change the record! You will never regret sticking it out and staying strong for your entrepreneur.
Failure for the entrepreneur is a badge of honor. You must fail to move forward, but failure for the spouse is equally essential. This is your journey too. There will be bumps that are divinely designed just for you to trip over. You are being molded for greatness alongside your entrepreneur, and at the end of this race, you will be one strong powerhouse of a human being. A little banged up but a shining light over your family. You'll find your way, but do not get discouraged that you're not the most supportive, happy, believer that ever married an entrepreneur.
Together you're unstoppable if you can figure out that there is nothing more gratifying than standing side by side knowing you did it together. It will not be easy, you will not always say and do the right things. My husband and I have and continue to make mistakes. Both of you must show grace, forgiveness and a ton of grit. Entrepreneurial marriage is not for the weak.