Guest Post by Theresa Ceniccola
Got a man who’s not supportive of your business? Welcome to the club! Every mompreneur I know has struggled at one point or another to gain her husband’s support for her business. It’s a common obstacle for moms who are running a business while raising a family.
But the truth is, behind every successful mompreneur (at least the married ones!) is an encouraging, understanding husband. Not that your husband will agree with everything you do in your business, but he can reach a place where he supports you and views your business as a blessing, not a burden. We just need to help him get there.
Let’s take my husband for example – he’s used to being publicly examined. Chris has been my Number One Fan for 17 years in my business (and for 6 years before that!). When we were first married and I was looking for a job, he’s the one who encouraged me to work as a freelance writer from home in our tiny apartment so that we could spend time together since he worked the evening shift. Whenever I was tempted to take a “REAL JOB” out of fear, he was the calming voice that reminded me to stay true to my path because this is the life we wanted to create for our family.
This is not to say that my husband is an energetic cheerleader when it comes to my travel schedule and late nights on the computer. But he believes in me and agrees that the life of the mompreneur is one that blesses our family in many ways.
In my experience – and from what I know about my friends and clients – the arguments heat up when it comes to the two most precious resources a couple has: time and money. But underneath the surface of the disagreement is usually something deeper – an issue that is laced with fear of failure, change or loss of control. When your husband says he doesn’t like you spending time at evening meetings or that you should be making more money in the business, there is usually something more to his words.
How can you bring your husband on board with your business?
- Communicate clearly and honestly. Let your husband know WHY this business is so important to you. Show him how passionate you are about your goals and what it will mean to the family to see the business succeed. Help him to understand that you are fulfilling your purpose and following God’s plan by sharing your gifts with the world. Let him know that your intention is NOT for the business to distance you from him, but to bring you closer and give you a whole new dimension to your relationship. Present your case to him with courage and confidence, and ask for his blessing (not his permission). If you find yourself putting your dreams on hold because he feels “it’s not the right time,” then ask him to join you in prayerfully considering if it’s God’s time for the business.
- Invite Him Into Your Business. I’m not saying you need to make your husband the CEO, but you should willing to open the books and the business to him in whatever way he is ready to participate. My husband is my “Vice President of Information Technology and Research.” Of course, he doesn’t have a formal title, but I honor him for the role he plays in keeping me online and up to date. I share my goals and decisions with him. I believe there’s no reason to hide anything from your husband (except maybe a new pair of black pumps – guys will never understand the need for so many shoes!). When it comes to your business, the more he feels like he is in the dark, the more likely he will resist. You don’t have to bore him with every detail, but let him know that he is welcome to ask anything he wants. Be sure to celebrate with him each time you move forward in your business!
- Give to Get. Remember, your husband needs to be supported as well. You can’t expect him to champion you and your business if he feels like you don’t share in his life and his success. Be sensitive to his needs and reassure him that you will always be there for him. Let him know that you are committed to him and the children first and that the business will always take a back seat in your heart (even if it seems to take up all your time and attention at first). Ask him if he is fulfilled in his career. If so, explain to him that you want that same feeling of fulfillment. If not, let him know that you love him and want him to find a purpose-based life, too.
- Understand his Objections. Helping your husband fall in love with your business plan is not going to happen overnight. It’s going to be a series of conversations over time – even if you’ve been in business a long time. Create opportunities to have those intimate conversations and listen to his concerns. Ask him to share what he is worried about – does he think you will be married to your business and you will neglect him or the children? Is it that he doesn’t trust you to succeed? Is it that he doesn’t want to be overshadowed? Get to the bottom of his fears so you can assure him he has nothing to worry about.
- Be Prepared to Compromise. As a couple, you are in this business together. It doesn’t matter if your husband has an official role in the company or not. The fact that you are a mompreneur means that your business will have an impact on his life – and your family. Just as you would resent your husband for making a decision to relocate the family for a job opportunity without your consent, he will feel the same way if you invest the entire savings account into your business without his approval. In addition to money, there will be certain things that he is “sensitive” about and you’ll need to acknowledge and honor those issues.
For example, my husband feels neglected if I work in the office every night – even though I have spent the last six hours taking care of the children. He wants us to have time together in the evening. But I tend to want to take advantage of the quiet time when the kids are asleep to work.
This situation was an ongoing source of argument and frustration. We came to an agreement that I would spend specific nights each week with him, and the other nights I could work as late as I needed to in the office. Whenever I stray from this promise, he gently reminds me (well, not always gently) and I return to honor our agreement.
Becoming a mompreneur is not about the income for most of us. It’s about making a contribution to the world. It’s about sharing our gifts and talents with others. It’s about growth and personal development. If your husband can see these benefits of your business, then he would be foolish not to give you his unconditional love and support!
What’s your husband’s biggest objection or concern about your business? How do you address it with him? Share your tips with us here!
Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a Mentor to Moms Who are running a business that supports faith and family. She empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace through the Christian Mompreneur Mastermind program- www.TheresaCeniccola.com/programs -and her professional Marketing services – www.TheresaCeniccola.com/Marketing – which include copywriting, marketing and strategy consulting and private coaching.