Are you and your partner having a hard time rationalizing if you should take the leap and invest time (and money $$$) in starting your business? I get it! It’s hard enough to take the first step in deciding to change paths, dream bigger, break from the mold. When I first considered starting my own business and straying from the path I had always thought I was on as a dietitian, my husband thought I was crazy! Telling him I wanted to invest thousands of dollars into having a mentor didn’t exactly help things. But I knew, I KNEW, that that investment would be transformative in my career.
When you’re on the hamster wheel of work, it’s hard to see the forest from the trees. It’s hard to see that one change now, one leap, one investment could mean an entire LIFE of freedom and financial gain in the long run. I don’t know what’s harder- convincing your partner that or convincing yourself.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, I had all the drive and determination to succeed, but I lacked an understanding for how to build my business from the ground up. I was also SUPER busy at the time. I was recently promoted in my 9-5 and we were relocating across the US. I was planning a fricken wedding for god’s sakes! If that doesn’t scream BUSY- I don’t know what does. So I knew it was imperative for me to learn from someone I admired, someone who had walked this path before me and could provide feedback, share their experience, and nudge me in the right direction. Most importantly, I needed to be efficient with the limited time I had. My investment with my time and my money needed to pay off. I felt the ROI was obvious. But, my husband was not so sure…
In business—especially as a business owner—you’ll need to communicate with a lot of people, each with different histories, perspectives, and opinions. Just because you’re the ‘big cheese’ doesn’t mean you can (or should) mow everyone else over with your decisions. Sticking to your gut instinct is important. But hearing, learning from, and applying differing opinions is important, too. The blend of these can help you stay true to yourself and your brand while also taking others’ ideas into account (and potentially avoiding mistakes, misunderstandings, and oversights).
Here’s how to navigate a tough business conversation with your partner:
- If they are hesitant, thank them! That means they care for you and believe they are helping you make the right decision based on their own lived experience.
- Remind them that your project or idea is an investment with the goal of making more money down the line. Pull the numbers, lay out the data, and put proof behind your words. In the case of hiring a mentor, show your partner what you are bringing in alone, and how bringing on an expert in your field will scale that number.
- Focus on the benefits this project, mentor, change, or addition will provide. How will you become more efficient? How will your goals change? Why is this important for your business long term?
- Communicate what will happen if you DON’T make this investment! Will you ever get your business off the ground? Or will you look up in 5 years from now in the same place having never explored your full potential?
My husband wasn’t supportive of me hiring a coach and I did it anyways. He likes to tell me he thought I was smart enough to do it on my own and he looked at the thousands spent on coaches as a sunk cost like buying a new purse. (You know I love a new purse, but that’s a whole other topic.) It’s super important to understand where your partner is coming from though. My husband wasn’t surrounded by business owners and didn’t realize that investing in a coach could help me focus my energy and make some significant strides in my business that wouldn’t have been possible if I was just trying to self motivate a couple of hours a week on top of another job. Now he says it was the best money we ever spent.
My best advice? Communicate, listen, and stay open. Standing firm in your beliefs isn’t admirable if it hurts your brand or your partnership. Collaborating is where the magic happens.
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