Many married entrepreneurs make the grave mistake of rushing into business decisions without careful deliberation and discussion as to how their entrepreneurial business will affect and involve their marriage – and their family. As an entrepreneur and a relationship expert, it is my firm belief that a broken relationship is way too high a price to pay for entrepreneurial success.
The individual goals we set for ourselves influence and impact those around us. If you are married, your decision to become an entrepreneur and/or business owner (of any kind) will have a direct impact on your marriage, your children and your family. Your business’ success and/or failure will shape the lives of those you love in many ways: i.e., financial, lifestyle, etc. Therefore it is imperative you include your spouse in your decision to begin – and/or expand your entrepreneurial work. This is one of the best ways to gain the emotional support of your partner when you begin your entrepreneurial journey. If you are already well into your entrepreneurial journey, you must include your spouse in your expansion dreams to insure you keep your marriage and family life strong.
The absolute best way to include your spouse or partner in your entrepreneurial decision(s) is to create a FAMILY PLAN for how your entrepreneurial life will impact your marriage and family before you begin your business. AND just as importantly – you must re-visit this initial family plan as your business grows and evolves. Just as you would (or should) PLAN for how a corporate job that might require long work hours and travel will impact your marriage, you should plan for how your marriage and family life will be impacted by your entrepreneurial business. Unfortunately, I have met so many successful entrepreneurs (especially female) who have lost their marriages while building their entrepreneurial business because they have failed to create this FAMILY PLAN.
Following are 3 key factors you must consider when creating a family plan.
1. Money – How much money will it cost to get your business off the ground? How much debt are you – and your spouse – willing to incur during the start-up phase of your business? How much capital is required for equipment, office space, employees etc? How does your spouse feel about all these expenses?
2. Time Consideration – What are the realistic work hours required of you when you start your business? How does your spouse feel about you having to potentially work in the evenings, on weekends and during holidays? Who will pick up the slack around the house involving household chores, cooking, cleaning, etc if you have to work long hours and on the weekends? Will your business require you to travel? Will you have the time to take family vacations?
3. Spousal Involvement in the Business – Will your spouse be involved in the day to day operations of your business? To what extent, if any, will your spouse be involved in the decision-making aspects of your business? Does your entrepreneurial business support the long and short-term goals you share as a couple?
These 3 key areas of concern are by no means considered to be an exhaustive one of all the factors you must consider when creating a family plan. My goal is that the information provided today will help you understand how important it is to have not just a business plan – but a family plan as well – to help minimize the potential problems that an entrepreneurial business may present to a couple and/or a family.
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