How Can You Start A Business Without Destroying Your Marriage?
Starting a business is exciting. It brings with it the possibility of greater financial independence, fulfilling work, and even location independent income. However, there’s no doubt that starting a business is challenging. From securing funding to taxes to marketing to employing other people, there’s enough to think about. Your business can leave you with almost no free time.
This can have knock on effects on your marriage. The long hours, stress and financial instability of starting a business can cause fights, tension, and even a breakdown in your marriage.
However, don’t lose heart, and don’t give up your dream of starting a business. It is possible to be a successful entrepreneur while being in a happy marriage too. Try these tips to start a business without destroying your marriage.
Talk To Your Partner
Although the decision to go into business is ultimately yours, it does affect your partner as well, so taking time to talk about it is vital.
Whether you’re about to start a business, or are already working for yourself, sit down and talk things out with your partner. Tell them about your motivations, your hopes and dreams, and your eventual goals. Let them know about the resources you need and the challenges you’re facing.
If possible, show them how a successful business will benefit your whole family.
Give them time and space to talk about their concerns and ask you questions. Listen to their input – they might have some good ideas.
Keep Office Hours
When you run your own business, it’s tempting to bring work home with you. This is even more of an issue if your business is home-based. Starting a business is hard work, so it’s understandable that you want to spend as much time as possible working on it. Unfortunately this can also leave your partner feeling ignored.
Feeling like an afterthought is enough to leave anyone upset and can have a detrimental effect on your marriage. One way to prevent your partner feeling this way is to keep regular office hours.
Decide on hours that work best for you. A traditional 9 – 5 with weekends off is a good place to start. You can add a couple of hours on weekdays if you need extra time. Just make sure that when you switch off for the night or weekend, you really switch off.
Make Time For Quality Time
A business takes up a lot of time, especially at first. That’s why setting aside quality time together matters. If the only attention your partner gets is interrupted by checking your email or taking business calls, your marriage will suffer.
Make regular time to just be with your partner, with no interruptions. That means taking a little time together every day, even if it’s just 20 minutes in the evening. It’s also a good idea to set aside a regular weekly date time, perhaps a Friday night or Sunday afternoon, and stick to it.
Value What You Each Bring To The Table
A new business has a way of taking up a lot of mental space. That’s natural – your business is more likely to succeed if you approach it with passion and drive. Be wary though. Enthusiasm can quickly spill over into making your business the center of your life, and making your partner feel like your shared life revolves around your business.
Whether your spouse is currently working or not, take the time to value what they bring to the table. Whether they’re keeping a roof over your head, looking after the kids, taking charge of shopping or cooking, or giving you emotional support, acknowledge it.
Set Boundaries Around Your Time
Keeping your marriage healthy while you run a business isn’t just about your partner – it’s very much about give and take. That means setting boundaries around your time and making sure you have the time you need to dedicate to your venture.
If you work for yourself, especially if you work from home, well-meaning people often assume that means your time is flexible. If your partner expects you to always pick up the kids, do the laundry or grab the groceries because you work at home or can be flexible, you’ll soon get frustrated.
Stop arguments before they start by setting boundaries around your time. Be clear with your partner when you are free to do chores or run errands – and when you are not.
Maintain Your Life Outside Of Business
Business will take over a lot of your life at the start. That’s part of the process and it would be unrealistic to expect everything to stay the same. However, it will help your marriage stay strong if you still have a life and a relationship outside of your business.
That means making time for each other, and having conversations that don’t revolve around business. Watch your favorite shows together, keep up with friends, or enjoy shared hobbies. Your new business is an important part of your life, but so is your marriage, so make sure that gets some care and attention too.
Running a business is exciting. You’ll grow as a person, learn new skills, and gain new confidence in your field. You can have all that and still have a happy, healthy marriage. It’s all about finding a balance and being honest with your partner, so that your business becomes part of your shared life, not an obstacle for it.