Seldom Asked Question #5: What Should I Tell My Spouse?
Every year we hear about the divorce rates on the news and are reminded that the majority of these couples site finances as the primary reason for their split. Communication is key but what do we communicate exactly? If you are just vaguely communicating what your new venture entails with a “hoping for the best” disposition, this may not be enough to brace the two of you when the storms begin to hit. Communicating expectations, however, is the key to surviving the roller coaster ride that any new business inherently brings to a relationship.
Telling your husband or wife that you are quitting your job so the two of you can live the “high-life” within a couple of years is a disaster waiting to happen. You might as well sign the divorce papers beforehand and save yourself the trouble. Under promise and over deliver is the path to take as you bring your relationship into any self-startup business. If you have kids, I suggest getting a babysitter so the two of you can sit at a table 1 on 1 with undivided focus and attention and decide as a couple if this is the right move for you. Speaking in worst case scenarios is the best approach to the conversation. If the two of you are still motivated to move forward, even after speaking in the “worst case tense”, then your relationship is probably going to survive the ups and downs that are inevitably going to come.
The life of an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. The two steps forward, one step back is a dance many people don’t want to participate in. Many would rather stick to the predictable and steady 9 to 5 routine. You obviously think different so communicating this to your significant other and what it could do a few years down the road to your financial freedom is great but make sure you stress the words “a few years”. Dual entrepreneurs in the same household at the same time is extremely tricky and should be avoided if possible. Having a stream of income during this leap will at least keep you and yours above water while your entrepreneurial systems are getting into place. If you do however get in that situation, here are some tips for working together.
If this is something you are planning to do and you are in a relationship, sit down with your better half, take the rosy sun glasses off, and get entirely on the same page of what are the expectations and risks. This will give you the best chance of weathering all the storms Murphy is undoubtedly going to throw your way.