Money and Marriage: Get on the Same Page With Your Career Goals
If you're in a serious relationship, starting a business becomes a partnership project, and sometimes, your significant other doesn't see your career goals the way you do.
You’ve spent years dreaming about the day when you could finally walk away from your day job and pursue your passions. After a few hefty promotions at work and an unexpected cash windfall, there’s no better time than now to go for it. But there’s only one problem: Your significant other isn’t buying it. Sound familiar?
I’m lucky enough to have a spouse who’s also an entrepreneur, so he understands how this whole thing works. However, I’ve run into (and coached) many men and women who weren’t as fortunate as I am. But if you’re patient and talk with your partner about your career goals, you may be able to win him (or her) over:
Explain the Underlying Motivation for Your Career Goals
When there’s resistance, we tend to shut down, especially when it’s over something we strongly believe in. But have you taken a moment to think about why your partner feels the way that he does? Perhaps he has a different outlook? Or maybe you haven’t really taken the time to explain your entrepreneurial dreams in a way that he can comprehend? Regardless of the reason for his lack of support, now’s the time to sit down and speak to him about your vision and why it means so much to you.
Run the Numbers on Starting Your Own Business
Another common reason for discord in relationships when it comes to entrepreneurship stems from finances. In other words, what if the business fails and takes your savings account with it? This is a logical reason for your partner to have reservations.
You can ease his fears by drafting up detailed financial projections (including worst-case scenarios) so that he’ll know what to expect.
Just make sure that the numbers are realistic and include any in-house capital that you currently have at your disposal and that you intend to contribute to get things up and running.
Share Your Long-Term and Backup Plans
A detailed business plan should accompany your financials so that your partner will understand exactly how you plan to generate income. If possible, start out by executing your vision while working full-time to demonstrate that you can be successful when operating on a larger scale. I also encourage you to share your backup plan in the case your business goes to hell in a hand basket.
Save Like a Maniac
You can never have enough money saved when starting a business. As I mentioned before, a lot of fear stems from the idea of financial instability, so the more money you have at your disposal to get through the rough patches, the better. Plus, this way your partner won’t feel compelled to work tirelessly to make up the slack.
Encourage Him to Pursue His Career Goals
This is a very touchy point, but it must be addressed. I’ve found that some people may want their significant other to succeed, but it doesn’t necessarily come off that way because they feel like failures deep down inside for not having the courage to pursue their own dreams. As a result, they have a negative or unfavorable reaction to their partner’s career goals.
While you can’t force your partner to take the leap, you can encourage him to consider it at some point.
A Final Thought
Stating your case to a reluctant partner won’t be easy, but the discussion will be worth it in the long run. Plus, you’ll eventually need his support if you’re truly in it for the long haul. So find some free time in each of your busy schedules, head out for a nice lunch or dinner in a relaxed setting, and make another attempt to plead your case. Your wellbeing depends on it!
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