4 ways to find success in marriage and business

Posted on Posted in 2016 Business Opportunities For You, What's Trending Now


There aren’t any divorce statistics for entrepreneurs, but couples in which one spouse launches a business have reported challenges unique to them: dramatic changes in income, challenging and unpredictable time demands, the highs and lows of promise of success and fear of failure, and the often accompanying emotional turmoil. Entrepreneur’s widow is a term often uttered in startup circles.

But what happens when both partners in a marriage are entrepreneurs? The challenges can multiply or soften, depending on how they are managed. Many business owners chose spouses who are smart, hustling and independent thinkers like themselves; entrepreneurial spouses can complement one another. Here are guidelines for staying together when you’re both launching enterprises.


1. Set information boundaries.
Some spouses want to hear all the dirty details about your day and a minute-by-minute report on your P&L sheet. Others prefer to hear the quarterly reports, yearning for emotional protection from the dramatic ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. Ask your spouse what he or she wants to hear and how often. Also recognize that by not sharing, your spouse might become anxious and assume you are hiding something or protecting them from bad news.


2. Establish shared goals.
Many entrepreneurial spouses report that weathering the ups and downs of business ownership brings them closer together. The Harp Family Institute, which studies the impact of entrepreneurship on relationships, found that entrepreneurs who set shared business goals with their spouses were 17 percent happier than those who didn’t; of those who set shared family goals, 98 percent reported still being in love with their spouse.


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3. Understand how your businesses fit into the rest of your life.
Domestic responsibilities tend to be easier to divvy with a consistent schedule and income. In most families, one spouse tends to take on more of the household and child care responsibilities, especially if that partner’s career is less demanding. Communicate expectations for managing demands outside of business, especially when your business is unpredictable and chaotic. Who will be on kid duty when one or both of you have to travel for work? Is one person responsible for a certain household chore? Will you hire outside help? If one spouse works from home, is he or she expected to take on more domestic tasks? Without articulating these dynamics, one spouse is likely to fall into the role of homemaker and possibly resent it later.


4. Expect changing roles.
Life and business are unpredictable ventures, so flexibility can be your greatest ally in surviving both. Perhaps one spouse planned to run his or her business part time and focus on family and home care, but then that partner’s business takes off, while the other’s suffers a setback and needs to regroup. It might make sense for that partner to spend more time on kid duties. Recognize your partner’s ego, reference your shared goals, and remember that family and business roles can and do change.



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