Tag Archives: entrepreneur success factors

An Entrepreneurs Guide to a Supportive Spouse

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The dynamics of your marriage can make or break your business. Growing your business takes a clear vision, effective operational processes, profitable marketing and blah, blah, blah. Entrepreneurs fail for many reasons, but there’s one that you rarely hear about in blogs or industry magazines.

How many businesses have failed because of troubled marriages or relationships? I’m not sure and most probably wouldn’t attribute the crumbling business to their significant other. However, I’ve come to learn that most business problems are just personal problems in disguise.

In only a few short years of consulting entrepreneurs, relationship conflicts have come to my attention more often than not. I heard it from friends, “the difficulty amplifies at each next step…”significant other”, spouse, family plus one and so on.” I even had these frustrations a few times as a growing entrepreneur.

In looking back I believed it would all work itself out once I got the business rolling. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of ups and downs before a business is functioning like a well oiled machine. After 10 years of both failed relationships and businesses I decided I needed a plan.

Keys to a More Supportive Spouse

Consider Their Fears

Its not easy “stepping into the shoes” of another person. Even then it’s even more difficult to understand their point of view. We tend to look at things the way we believe them to be for others or want them to be. Or, even worse, we don’t even try to see it another way. This will kill any thought of your spouse supporting you.

Instead, think about what they’re afraid of. What fears might they experience along this journey with you? Is it financial struggle, is it less time together, is it restricting them from doing what they are passionate for? If you can stomp out initial fears by answering their doubts upfront you’ll catch their attention.

Make sure to consider their emotional, social, logical and physical fears. Done well and they’ll feel as though you’ve done your homework, you have a plan and you’ve considered their perspective(and hopefully you really have). This alone can make the journey more enjoyable for everyone.

Assure them Priority

It’s easy to get caught up in all the responsibilities of a business, however your spouse and family is more important than work. Give them the confidence that you’ll make the time to keep them number one on your list. It’s important to share in what they believe to be meaningful.

Drop you’re work for them anytime they need you and making sure to take part in their priorities. Schedule time away from work, completely unplugged (no mobile devices) just for experiences together. Never lose sight of what’s most important and you’ll be happy both at work and at home.

Share Your Purpose

Don’t try and sell them on a vision of all the material things such as making a million dollars, having thousands of fans and building an empire. Those things have little emotional value because most people view those as just a dream, not a reality. The majority (yes, even your awesome spouse) instantly think about entrepreneurship as a rough road that has taken many casualties. That’s a picture you don’t want your spouse to imagine. As much as they love and believe in you these riches are unlikely in their eyes.

Instead, share your internal motivation. Of course we’d all enjoy having a “milli”, fans galore and a market dominating business, but refrain for now. Share why it’s important to you to do meaningful work, impact the community and support the family for the long haul. Despite the bad odds and the high risk of entrepreneurship people will overlook those for being a part of a purposeful journey. If your business is filled with exciting and fulfilling projects you may be able to override entrepreneur history for awhile.

Ask for Support

There will always be ups and down in your business. Including your spouse during the highs, having their support when you hit the lows and appreciating their perspective during the places in between is truly a game changer. This not only helps hold the business together, but it can bring the family closer.

Entrepreneurship can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be if you have their belief and affirmation. Don’t believe you automatically have their support in everything you do. Open up, be vulnerable and share your deep need of their support. If you’re not in this together you can expect either the business or the relationship to crumble, even worse…both.

Bring them to the party

Some spouses want no part of entrepreneurship. However, I believe the more you include them in the journey the faster they find an appreciation for what you do.

That doesn’t mean you have put them on your full-time schedule, but rather ask them if they’d help set up one of your events or assist you on a specific part of an important project. Let them experience the complexities, the emotional demands and the time constraints you work in and enjoy.

Don’t just beat them up with the tough stuff, but also allow them to enjoy many of the perks of your work. Bring them along on a speaking gig to another city, have them participate in a continuing education seminar or share in the final profit numbers of a recently offered product line.

You never know what will attract your spouse enough to love it like you do. I was lucky enough to have my wife join the ride, as a team member and then in advising her to start her own business. Either way, including your spouse in what you do can make transitions easier.

Cultivate Their Belief

There are a lot of heavy demands when it comes to starting your own business. Every decision is loaded with responsibility. If you want long term commitment from your spouse you have to gain their trust. You must follow through on your promises by sowing the seeds daily. Cultivate trust through aligning your words with your actions, being productive and implementing the plan.

Stick to your timeline, complete tasks accordingly and hit the milestones you’ve planned. It is up to you to manage the risks and rewards in order to stay on track. Don’t sabotage yourself, be consistent, celebrate the victories and keep implementing until you reach your exit velocity.

This cannot be done if you first do not trust yourself. Harness the courage to conquer challenges along the way and you will win the trust of your spouse.

 

Both marriages and businesses have crumbled because of lack of support. A business needs to be nurtured almost as much as a relationship if you want to be successful. You will struggle to achieve this without the support of your spouse.

It’s always a tall task to build a business, but with a supportive spouse you’ll have twice the resources to make it a bit easier. We (my wife & I) believe if you apply the steps you’ll not only amplify your business, but your marriage will hold a deeper connection. We still have much to learn, but we’ve seen the results in our relationship and in our businesses. We hope you’ll see them as well.

What advice do you have for the Entrepreneur and their spouse?  Start or join the conversation by commenting below.

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3 Keys to Success in Entrepreneurship

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If you asked me a few years ago what the key to success in entrepreneurship was, I might have told you that it was training and development in the beginning.  A little later I would have responded with the answer of recruiting.  In the middle of this journey I would’ve said sales and marketing.

Later, after some struggles, I thought if you have great leadership and systems you can manage all of the above.  A more recent response would’ve been if you don’t have a strategy what good are those.  And right now I can hear you saying (probably screaming) adamantly that the most important element is financial acumen.

The truth is that these are all correct and I don’t disagree that these areas are all vital to the growth of an entrepreneurial endeavor.  However, in my recent experience and taking all past experiences into consideration there are three key elements I’ve found to separate you from the red and often your competition.

Making The Shift

The keys are all personal…Not business related.  After all personal development is business innovation.

Heard this before? Not like this you haven’t, don’t stop reading yet.  The number one complaint I hear from Entrepreneurs, Executives, and other industry experts (not to mention working moms, coaches, authors, speakers, etc.).  I just don’t have enough time.

Does this sound like you?… “I need more time or I can’t get it all done right now.”

I understand.  I’ll tell you, no matter how hard I worked it seemed like I worked 12, 16, 20 hrs a day repetitively.  We know a successful business takes great ideas, creativity, collaboration and a bunch more, but actually making those ideas happen is the hard part.

Spending more time working is no longer the answer.  We’ve missed enough time with family, friends and enjoying the other fruits of life to spend more time at a desk.  The reason so many are not achieving enough is not actually a shortage of time anyway.  I mean, who isn’t working at least 50 to 60 hours a week these days?  It’s a deficiency in these three keys and it’s time for a shift.

Purpose in Entrepreneurship

The true importance of a purpose is not in having one, but in the clarity of yours.  In today’s highly competitive world if you’re not explicitly clear on why you’re doing what you do you’ll eventually fail.  There are many crossroad to come and mountains to climb and a lack of clarity is like traveling without a map.

No map leaves you guessing or with too many questions.  Your confusion and fears create a slow grind of indecision slowing any sense of progress.  Once you’ve clearly defined your purpose you will know, with greater confidence, what path is best for you and many of the intricate details needed to excel along it.

Clarity of purpose streamlines your focus and also engages others in the process.  They are able to clearly understand what you are trying to accomplish and why it’s meaningful.  That’s magic for business…it makes it easy to define job roles, responsibilities and skills on the inside and easy to communicate customer solutions and strategies on the outside.

Purpose creates a feeling of fulfillment because it clearly defines an understandable path, a meaningful result and represents a fully expressed you with which others can relate to and align with.

Progress in Entrepreneurship

Not everyone is aroused by purpose alone.  A sense of progress is also highly important to inspire action within your company.  Action, however doesn’t necessarily mean you are being productive and progressing forward.

Identify behaviors that provide confidence, motivation and move you closer to achieving the goal.  We often under-appreciated and overlooked the small victories, but it’s important to take time to notice these and you’ll waste less time, money and precious personal “juice”.

Your ability to push through the “dry times” of startup (low traffic, leads and customers) will separate you from the competition in the long run.  Appreciating these small wins will help you execute projects with greater efficiency from the point of inspiration to implementation.

Eban Pagan believes the “Speed of Implementation” is the number one key to long term success.  Maintaining this feeling of progress can build the momentum you need to complete the book, online course or partnership strategy you can leverage in your business for the long term.

Performance in Entrepreneurship

We all know there are varying levels of performance.  In this case I am speaking of high human performance…your ability to sustain high levels of energy, enthusiasm and engagement and elevate to a higher level you.

There will be times you overcome big challenges and don’t get the results you want and there are even times you are highly effective and still “lose”.  These challenges will consistently occur throughout entrepreneurship, but it’s your ability to face them and finish without “falling off” that will you succeed.

High human performance is the knowledge, skills and resources to get the job done well more often than not.  And better than you did it the last time.  Your daily performance provides a feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day and a sense of fulfillment along the journey.

Instead of a little, quick spark here or there, this is continuous and magnifies confidence,  instills courage and helps you stay committed to your biggest, most meaningful goals despite new and more daunting challenges.

The Multiplier

If you’ve made it this far then you truly are student of your craft and I reward you with a 4th key.  Key #4 is Urgency.  Urgency is the multiplier (I know, I know, it doesn’t start with a P.)  We could use Parkinson’s law which is a tactic for creating a greater sense of urgency (we’ll save that for a later date).

Urgency is the true difference between an entrepreneur and highly successful entrepreneurship.  With urgency you will find out how well you defined, prepared and fulfilled the first three keys.  You will learn what you are truly talented in and how passionate you are about your purpose.  Urgency, brings out true human potential and can create real levels of high performance.

Urgency is the one thing that drives people, projects and businesses forward quickly.  Being truly urgent in your actions will help you gain a significant advantage over your competitors and sustainable success in Entrepreneurship.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you think about your current business status…

  • Can you clearly (I mean with crystal clarity) define your purpose?
  • What have you been thinking about for too long? (What if I told you you only have 60 minutes to choose?)
  • How effective are you at performing the tasks needed for successful execution?  Can it be done better?
  • Are you demanding enough? On others, or better yet, yourself?
  • Who owes you something (a report, product or idea)? How much time have you given them? Do they really need that much time?

I’ll leave you with this…

To achieve greatly, you must master the three keys first and then cultivate great urgency in a way that channels your significant purpose. We must not view ourselves as time stressed, but as highly time sensitive beings.  Our time on earth is short and the lifespan of an average entrepreneurial business is even shorter.  Only when we view life & ourselves this way are we likely to generate the energy and drive to make things happen fast and in a meaningful way.

Which of the three keys is deficient most in your business?  Begin or join the conversation by leaving your comments below.

 

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