My Spouse Started a Business, and I’m Scared. What Now?


So your spouse started a business. What now?

People start businesses for many different reasons. Some start a business rather than going into the workforce. Others get their start after a job loss, like a layoff.

Let’s say your spouse lost their job, and they started a business rather than moving on to other employment. A major life transition such as a job loss can cause you to reevaluate your life, your career path, and your decisions up until that point. In this case, maybe your spouse decided to take a chance on a dream they’ve wanted to pursue for a long time.

Your spouse couldn’t control this job loss, so they may have decided to take ownership of the future by starting a business. At first, this course of action might have felt like a great step forward for you both. But now, you’re missing the sense of stability and security you enjoyed before, and you’re feeling afraid.

How do you address your fears while also supporting your spouse’s business goals?

Encourage Your Spouse to Seek Wise Counsel

When you start a business, you’re taking a risk. The difference between success and failure lies within taking wise and calculated risks. This is easier to achieve when you have wise counsel.

If you’re feeling risk-averse but want to support your spouse, encourage them to find mentors in the business world who can help them build a strategic business plan. It’s important to have mentors who can evaluate your business plan and offer suggestions to make it stronger. And if your spouse can build a network of supportive peers and mentors, they’ll have a greater chance of success.

Build a Supportive Network for Yourself

Being married to a business owner can carry its own set of challenges. It’s just as important for you to be surrounded by supportive peers and mentors as your spouse. You need people around you who can speak to your spouse’s vision and potential – and can help inspire your confidence in this venture.

Make friends with other business owners, and individuals whose spouses are business owners. Learn as much as you can about how to support your spouse’s business. An entrepreneurial spirit is a gift, so if your spouse has that drive, explore ways that you can help them see it through.

Avoid Defaulting to Pessimism

We’ve seen many marriages suffer as a result of one spouse’s pessimism toward the other’s dreams and goals. It’s understandable that you might be afraid of the future, but business ownership doesn’t automatically mean financial instability. Be realistic, but avoid defaulting to pessimism.

There are two kinds of security in marriage; one kind relates to finances. The other is emotional security. While your spouse works toward bringing their business – and further financial security – into fruition, focus on creating and maintaining emotional security for you both. Support your spouse in their business endeavors, and you might find that both of your investments pay dividends in the future.

A final note: Starting and running a business can be time-consuming. You’ll want to work with your spouse early on to protect your time together. Our book, Your Time-Starved Marriage, contains tips and strategies for making that all-important time for each other. Learn more and pick up your copy here.

Do you or your spouse own a business? How did you support one another in the early days? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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