If you’ve ever hesitated to invest in your business because you’re not sure what your significant other will have to say about your decision, this article is for you.
It is not uncommon to have concern about what people will think about a decision to invest in your business, especially people who have a J-O-B mentality and don’t understand the need to invest to grow your business. And for the most part, the best move is NOT to ask people’s opinion. After all, it’s your business.
That said, if you’re in a situation in which you are investing household funds, or using a credit card which your spouse will be jointly responsible for, it is important to discuss your decision. You’ll want to set up accounts that are specifically for your business as soon as possible so you are free to run your business as the CEO.
In the meantime, let’s address some common issues that come up when enrolling your spouse in your decision to invest.
1. Be honest with yourself, and him/her about where you’ve been.
We often hear entrepreneurs share their fear about telling their spouse or partner about their decision to invest. Sometimes this is completely irrational (we’ll address this in a minute), and sometimes it is founded in a history of investing and not taking action. If that has been you, you need to be honest about that.
If you continue to invest in your business without taking the action to make money, your spouse has every right to be concerned about your decision. You need to own where you’ve been. You need to ask yourself why this time will be different. It may very well be. It often takes a handful of different resources to get someone moving in the right direction, and it is often not a ‘one and done’ scenario when it comes to investing. You need to be able to own the progress you have made, and share it, and be clear why this next step is important to you.
If you have invested more than a couple times and made no progress, you need to ask yourself whether you are truly committed to moving your business forward. There is nothing saying you HAVE TO be in business. If you’re not committed, no amount of investing can create that for you.
Some people keep investing with no result as a test of their spouse’s love or to push the spouse away because they are too afraid to leave. If you think either of these may be you, get some coaching support.
2. Come from confidence, not fear.
Many entrepreneurs are surprised that when they are completely confident in their decision to invest, their partner is confident in them. People are always responding to your energy. If you secretly don’t know if you’re making the right decision, or you don’t want to take responsibility for your decision, your spouse will pick up on that and simply respond the way you secretly hope he’ll respond – in protest. You can’t project your fear onto someone else and expect support.
3. Share your enthusiasm
If you’re so excited for what’s possible for you, share it! Often entrepreneurs are so filled with ‘guilt’ about spending on themselves that they suppress their excitement, and then wonder why their spouse doesn’t see how great this going to be for them!
4. Find out what’s in it for him
I find that the spouse (if they are a good, aligned match, healthy and in love) usually benefits as much as or more than the entrepreneur when an entrepreneur hires a good coach. In order to be successful in your business, you’ll have to get rid of the destructive patterns that are keeping you from success. Most likely those patterns are also impacting your marriage/ relationship. When you clear them up in business, it’s an added benefit for him/ her.
To use this knowledge, start by asking your spouse… “What do you think would be different for YOU if I were happy and making money in my business? What would YOU like to get out of this investment?” I can’t think of a better way to get support than to get clear about your commitment to your marriage in the process.
5. Let him have his response
The biggest problem in these types of conversations is this. YOU. OK, I’ll be more specific. You, as the person who loves him (or her), wants him to be happy. You do not want to be creating pain for someone you love, and so your goal is often to share in a way that creates the least amount of pain or reaction.
But here’s the Truth. You can’t make someone feel something, and you can’t make them respond in a certain way. If someone is upset with your action, that is THEIR response, and it is not you. Most like he is responding to something that happened in his past, and it probably has nothing to do with you. It’s his money stories, or his observation of his parent’s relationships, or his own insecurity about being a provider, or any number of 100 things he’s responding to. Let him.
If he’s upset, let that be OK. Hear and receive how he feels. Validate him. Without changing your decision. When you can allow someone to have their reaction, holding in your mind the ‘why’ of why you are doing something, knowing with the utmost certainty that it is going to work out beautifully, you can be OK with a temporary unhappy response. Hold true to your vision.
6. Take Full Responsibility
If you are in a partnership and you are using joint funds to fund your business, you want to go in with clear expectations that will also work for your partner. “I take responsibility for this investment, and I commit to paying it back in full by _____. If, for some reason, that does not happen, then _______.” Create an agreement that works for both of you. Have skin in the game and take full responsibility for creating your result. Perhaps you pay the money back with interest. Perhaps you let your spouse know that you would understand if he or she chose to leave if you didn’t honor your agreement.
7. Control is not Love
Just remember that if either of you is wanting to control or suppress the other person to keep things running smoothly, that is not love. Where love is present there is full support of each person becoming the biggest version of themselves.
In a marriage people can tend to use money to control, whether making it and feeling superior, or spending it to create codependency. Keep your side of the street clean. Search your heart, check your motives, and keep it real. If you are using your business and your money decisions to manipulate, you are not in love. You may be best served to let that person go.
I’d love to here YOUR thoughts and experiences with investing in your business and seeking support. Please share below!