For so many years, if someone asked me what Matt did for a living, I was not able to formulate a response, because frankly, I really didn’t know. Such questions were a reminder that it was his business, and that I had nothing to do with it. I felt like an outsider, the one that was not privy to the details and workings of what took up so much of my husband’s time! However, after I committed to being involved and to treating the company like our family’s business, I was then able to speak about he does, just as if the business belongs to me too, because it does; and my sense of pride of ownership comes through as I support Matt in the company’s goals.
This newfound sense of ownership made me feel not only more connected to Matt and our business, but also to our company’s greater purpose, which is our top-level life goals – our ultimate life’s mission. The business is the vehicle that drives us toward our goals as we steer it – together.
This simple mindset shift has powerful and lasting implications; and it all starts with making the decision to get involved, to understand the business, and to treat it like the future-providing vehicle that it is.
Entrepreneurs, here’s some things for you to consider:
You might think of your business as just yours, and like your spouse really doesn’t have much to do with it; and maybe you think you’d like to keep it that way, but let me tell you why that is a mistake.
You might think your spouse isn’t aware of what’s going on in your business; but have you ever considered how many conversations you’ve had with your spouse about your business? What do share about your business, your plans, your concerns, your opinions, or your goals?
Your spouse probably knows more than you think, even if they can’t properly convey it to someone else when asked ‘what you do’.
Here’s a harsh truth you’re probably not going to like: No one in your business is telling you the truth. That’s right! Not your employees, not your advisors, not your peers, not your colleagues, and not even your friends. Why is this? It’s simple. Our behaviors and actions serve the goals we seek. There isn’t any upside for any of these groups to tell you what you need to hear since they are focused on their own goals, not yours. It’s human nature.
At the same time though, it is critical to discuss and brainstorm ideas for your business, to talk about future goals and plans, and to share concerns, and even triumphs. So, to whom do you turn in times like these? Who do you go to for honest feedback, candid opinions, genuine support, and to support your dreams and visions?
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in all the minute, mundane details, from the inside, that we overlook the obvious. But your spouse is the only one who can give you real, helpful feedback, genuine support, and that fresh perspective you need.
Your spouse has a vested interest in your decisions, your satisfaction in life, and the outcome of your business. There probably isn’t anyone in your life who has more to lose than your spouse if your plans should fall apart. Your spouse has at least as much at risk as you do. Don’t you think it just makes sense that he or she gets to be included in the conversations and has vote in what’s going on?
When I have a vested interest in something, I am much more thorough and thoughtful in any answer I give. I won’t say, “Hey, Hon, that’s a great idea,” unless I believe it. Do yourself a favor, talk about your decisions with your spouse before you them. Two heads are better than one; and there’s no need for either one of you to be alone on your journey!
Brainstorming sessions that start and end with everyone in agreement on a topic probably haven’t challenged ideas closely enough. An opposing position creates the opportunity to unearth details, discover new information, reveal different angles, and either change or solidify your stance before you move ahead.
Since we’ve established your spouse is the only one who will give you unvarnished advice, don’t you think it’s a good idea to get some of that advice? If no one at the table disagrees or challenges your ideas, then you need to find someone who will. Your spouse is just that person for alternate ideas, unbiased viewpoints, and honest feedback. They’ll help you hone-in and sharpen your thoughts because they’ve got a vested interest in your marriage and the business. Make sense?