The book, “Till Business Do Us Part, How To Thrive in Your Business & Survive Your UnSupportive Husband” is scheduled for release in 2021, date to be revealed very soon!
My quest is to shed light on this never-discussed topic. If a woman business owner is struggling with an unsupportive husband, not only is her family suffering, but the risk to her business is great. Why? Because the quality of a woman’s primary relationship affects her business. She’s either confident in the support she receives or distracted by the lack of support, perceived or real. And the effects of an unsupportive husband on her business are significant. She may give up, give in or accept mediocrity. This is reflected negatively on economic development, for the people she employs, the taxes she pays, and for the contributions she makes through direct donations or donations-in-kind.
My research is demonstrating that the number of women business owners who deal with unsupportive husbands is staggering and the spectrum of that lack of support is wide. But, the one common denominator they all share is the shame and isolation. Shedding light on this dicey topic will give women business owner’s a place to, well, breathe, and find solutions.
This book will not throw husbands under the bus. Quite the opposite, in fact. The book’s message is getting laser-focused on growing a profitable business and how to accomplish it with everyone’s best interests in mind. This is not a memoir, but I do have empathy and deep understanding of this sticky subject. Any stories I share personally will pale in comparison to the courageous, amazing women business owners I am featuring and the strategies I offer to navigate these tricky waters.
Please share your respectful thoughts, below, or if you wish to contact me personally I respond to all courteous emails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Happy Warrior (a person undiscouraged even in the face of difficulties; plucky crusader),
Annette de Lancey Giacomazzi
P.S. For those of you who have known and have been eagerly anticipating the release of my book, sometimes life throws you curve balls. Sometimes those curve balls deck you out cold. But, then you get up and finish the game. And hopefully, the game is better because of your time out. I am in my time out. But, there is a benefit! I am collecting more information and case studies to make the book even more valuable for you!
The standard entrepreneur and spouse dynamic can be very touchy. As entrepreneurs, we have a high-risk tolerance. Non-entrepreneur spouses typically have a much lower tolerance. Entrepreneurs are optimistic and often obsessed with their business. Spouses of entrepreneurs are often more wary of the business’ upside and don’t feel connected to it. Adding fuel to the fire, entrepreneurs spend a lot of time with their “other” child, their baby, their business, which can breed resentment. Add the dynamic of entrepreneur as wife AND spouse as husband and we’re all on new ground. Now, throw in the different styles of handling money and that ground just gave way to a sinkhole. Just for added measure, men are typically more practical and women are often relational. In fact, your husband’s practicalism can come across to you as resistance or lack of support. Put entrepreneurialism, male/female dynamics and different money styles in the same relationship and you have the potential of creating significant discourse in a marriage. The good news? That just means it’s time for meaningful discussions. It can take time, work and dedication to help our spouses understand our business, our dreams, our motivations with the hope they can become our allies. There is a lot of loneliness and heartache in the process, on both sides. Not just for us women, but for the men who love us and stay with us. But, I can help shorten your learning curve. And one of the shortest ways is to show me the money, honey!
Ideally, your business is a profit driven business vs. a drain-the-family-finances beast. The surest way to drive a wedge between you and your husband is if you’re not contributing to the family coffers, regardless of the reasons why. Are you also sacrificing family time, private time with your husband, household needs, your health, to work on your business? If so, this will surely add to his level of frustration and resentment.
For everything, there is a season. When you start a business it will take up a lot of your time. When a major project comes along and you need to give it your all (think of the launch of a new product line, a book, being on Shark Tank). Hopefully, you secured the stakeholders (your family’s buy-in) to pursue these efforts. Perhaps you had a serious health issue, family matter, or life-altering event that forced you to put the business on the back burner, but now you’re going at it with all 8 cylinders. Putting those situations aside, have you been working at your business for 2-3 years and you’re still using the business as an excuse to avoid your responsibilities at home, for not contributing to the family account? Check out this post, “Is Your Business Your Lover?”, for some additional insight. Additionally, perhaps you’re treating your business as a hobby. If you’re not sure, here’s a helpful post for you, “Is Your Business a Hobby or a Real Endeavor?“
How do you determine if he is just being practical or if he is resentful and unsupportive of you building your blockbuster business? It is best not to dismiss gripes, but to respond in a compassionate manner. Ask him what he is worried or fearful of. Listen carefully to his response. Perhaps he’s worried about the future of your retirement accounts or is feeling ignored or sidelined. He may even be worried about your health. You can make bargains like Nina did. A stay-at-home mom with a rockin’ transcript business. When she started the business, Mike was very leery, so Nina made small bargains with him. Such as, if she made $X in XYZ time-frame, they can purchase/do ABC. Then she upped it a little with each new bargain. Over time, the “bargains” gave him concrete examples of her dedication and the potential for the business. Barbara, a lawyer who struggled to get her private practice going in the early years, consistently hit income goals. In other words, she hustled and her husband worried less. Nina and Barbara didn’t come from an adversarial perspective but rather worked with their husbands to have their goals met. You’ll also need to address the issue and come to a thoughtful, realistic agreement that you and your husband can both live with.
Have you tried those tactics and your husband is still critical and unsupportive, but you know you’re building a blockbuster business? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Humans are created and wired to connect. And those connections need to be supportive, helpful and encouraging. By the way, I’m not talking about rubber-stamper-yes-people. They can be just as detrimental as nay-sayers. But, that’s another post. We need people in our corner building us up, not tearing us down. The world and our own inner critic do enough tearing down. The community at Till Business Do Us Part will support you (Hug) and give you the practical advice when necessary (Shove).
Labor Day used to be celebrated on the 1st of September which happens to coincide with my birthday. As a child, I remember naively thinking, “I know my mom went into labor to give me birth, but so did other mothers. Why are we celebrating my mom’s labor?” Sweet isn’t it?
I know some of you are probably doing a psychological eyebrow lift that I didn’t focus on my birth, but I prefer focusing on my understanding that my mom labored to receive something.
Today we celebrate Labor Day. Because without men and women working we would come to a virtual standstill. If that was ever a “what if?” scenario COVID-19 declared it front and center. We know what the essential front-line personnel did for us day after day, week after week, month after month during the pandemic. But today is also a day to celebrate workers. No workers mean no restaurants, no hair salons, no gyms. No teachers, no truck drivers, no piano lessons. Customers can still shop for food, supplies, even luxury goods on-line. But, without workers, those orders wouldn’t get filled. Without workers our food wouldn’t get picked in the fields. Without workers, our garments wouldn’t be sewn.
Today we celebrate and embrace LABOR… the men and women WORKING to keep our economy strong.
Nope, this isn’t going to be a missive about our current societal ills.
Nor is it about the demise of our culture and what you and I can do about it.
Instead, it’s about speaking the truth so you can find yourself.
I’ll make it simple with an example. Decades ago, I had an Aunt that used to “fudge” details.
If she was on her way she would call and say, “I’m on 85!” When in truth she was a few miles back on 101.
She would say, “I read 4 chapters!” when in actuality she read the first chapter and the last paragraph of the 4th chapter.
She wanted people to think so well of her that she puffed up her truth. Some call it embellishing. Some call it lying.
What happened was I eventually stopped believing anything she said. Even if it was the truth.
The best book says, “FIRST remove the log in your eye before you remove the speck in your friend’s eye.”
FYI…that’s the Bible (Matt 7:5) really neat life principles in that book.
So, for 1 week I paid attention to what I said vs what was the truth.
And I too “embellished” my truth to look better to others.
But, I had to confess, “That was a lie. The truth is…”
And that is painful and embarrassing.
So, I just started speaking the truth. Which is a much easier way to live.
And a lot less exhausting.
What did I learn?
I had to count on myself before I could ask others to count on me.
I had to have integrity before others could think well of me.
The truth set me free.
From Stay at Home orders to “Social Protection” efforts, we’ve all experienced a shift in our daily lives. For many of us, we’ve had to become intentional about feeling good, despite the turmoil & World Health Crisis we are living in.
3 techniques I encourage YOU to try implementing into your daily routine:
1. Get some SUNSHINE!
2. Write down 3 things you’re GRATEFUL for – EVERY DAY!
3. Get REST!
These simple yet effective strategies can help fuel a positive mindset as you go throughout your day.
What are some of your daily habits & routines that have helped carry you through this time?