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Today’s post is written by none other than, Skye Bickett, my lovely wife, best friend, and mother of our son, Alexander. I asked her if she would write a post geared towards spouses who are supporting and assisting the other spouse down the road of self employment. She jumped at the opportunity and had some GREAT points to make. Enjoy!
Being the spouse of an entrepreneur is a journey unto itself. You will have to work just as hard as your spouse to make the dream of owning a business a reality for him. There will be times when one or both of you are annoyed at the other and even times when you realize you were wrong and become annoyed at yourself (which, incidentally, still directs anger toward the other person). There will be fights and there will be misunderstandings. There may be finger pointing and there may be doubt. Rest assured, though, that there are steps the two of can take to make the transition easier.
Communication, preparation, and understanding are three of the most important things that anyone can do to make entrepreneurship an easier and more successful journey. These ideals shouldn’t be new to you, especially if you’re married. A successful marriage or friendship is based on these and they are truly needed to keep things peaceful at work, at home, and anywhere else.
Communication is one of the biggest items to work on and everyone has a different way of communicating. Some only want to listen, some just want to talk, others hear what they want, and some make up conversations that never happened. When your spouse is starting a business the two of you must talk to one another and share your concerns, give encouragement, be open to suggestions or thoughts, and be nice (Yes, I did have to specify that. Yelling, being rude, or being condescending or not a part of good communication). If you are starting to feel neglected because your spouse is working on his business at night and on weekends while holding down a full-time job, talk to him about it. If you feel that you aren’t able to devote enough time to opening your business because your spouse is constantly making plans, talk to her about it. There is a middle ground, but you’ll never find it, and resentment will form, if you don’t communicate with one another.
Preparation is another standard part of any journey, but most people don’t take it into consideration. You have to prepare for what will happen as your spouse’s business is starting. Will you see each other less? Probably. Will you have less income at the start of the business? Usually. Will there be pitfalls you didn’t even see coming? Most definitely. You can’t plan for everything, but you can prepare for issues that you know will arise and talk about what you’ll do when unexpected things hit you. What happens if a year into opening his business is no better off than when it started? Should your spouse find additional sources of income, such as a contracting job? Should you give up being a stay at home mom and get a job? Even if you think the business will jump off the ground it’s best to prepare for a struggle. If there isn’t a struggle with the business then you can do a happy dance (I do these at work and think everyone should incorporate them.). If there is a struggle then you’re prepared for what lies ahead. If you don’t prepare things can go downhill – fast. If things go great then you’re all set. If things fall apart, though, it will be a lot harder for you and your spouse to calmly discuss what needs to be done.
Understanding is the last piece of the puzzle. As the entrepreneur you have to realize that this journey is just as hard for your spouse as it is for you. They have just as much riding on the success of your business as you do. As the spouse you have to understand that starting a business is a long and arduous process that has your spouse’s pride wrapped inside. Be understanding of what each of you is going through and what both of you have to sacrifice to make the business a reality.
All of these principles need to be used in conjunction with one another to work properly. It will make the transition of self-employment for your spouse a lot easier. It will keep your marriage strong. Unless your spouse has some hare-brained idea that you don’t agree with at all or think will definitely not work, then support them. Keep in mind, though, that you need to be understanding of his feelings on the topic and that you need to communicate your feelings about the idea without sounding judgmental or condescending. You only have one life and should live it for the purpose God intended. If your spouse thinks that’s starting his own business then see where it goes. If it’s you being a stay at home mom or starting your own business then do it…just not at the same time as your spouse.
Please feel free to connect with Skye on her blog, Carnie Poet.
I’ve had a sinkhole in my yard for the past few months. It started out as a simple indention in one spot. It ended up being one foot in diameter and about 5 feet deep. It looked just like someone had drilled a giant hole in my front yard.
It ended up being the remains of a tree that had been buried.
But due to settling, the hole got bigger and bigger, and became a HUGE pain in the butt.
Check this out:
Are you settling in your life? Are you staying in your current job because it’s the “safe”, “secure”, “smart” thing to do?
Remember, settling now causes problems down the road.
I should know. I settled for my different day jobs for MANY years. This has lead to high blood pressure, AWFUL headaches, and asthma attacks for the first time in my life (and I’m 32!!!).
Recognize the symptoms, combat them with necessary actions, and move on to the life you WANT!
As always, let me know how I can help!
This is the inaugural edition of One Thing. A series of guest posts by successful entrepreneurs and people actively pursing self employment where I ask them one question: “What is the one piece of advice you would give someone if they told you they were starting a business and you could only tell them one thing to help them out?” I’m starting this series out with a BANG! Today I’m bringing you Justin Lukasavige, founder of CoachRadio.tv, personal friend, and mentor. Here’s his response:
I’ve been thinking about success a lot lately. Some of my client’s businesses have taken off rapidly while others never get much momentum. Like a sparkler, it’s easy to start strong then quickly fizzle out.
Success takes teamwork. If you want a business that makes real money and helps a lot of people, you need a team. I’m not talking about managing hundreds of people in an office space larger than your house. I’ve been there, didn’t like it, and went back the other way. Now I work in a converted shed in my backyard with zero employees.
There’s no way you’ll be successful if you’re handling every detail in your business on your own and it’s foolish to think you can do it. As quickly as you can you need to figure out where you shine; not just what you’re good at, but what you’re the best at.
Those areas may not directly make you money, but if you’re great at them, that’s where you need to be.
Bookkeepers and CPAs are often great initial additions to your team. Why spend hours each week keeping track of details you don’t care about? Let the person who sleeps with a QuickBooks manual next to their bed do it; it’s what they live for.
I’m working with a team right now and they don’t want a large business. I’ve also pointed out how none of them want to actually lead the business they’re dreaming about. While they don’t want to pay someone to lead them, there’s just no way their business will go anywhere without that person.
If want your business to be successful, you need a team. There’s no way around it. As quickly as you can, start building yours.
Justin Lukasavige is a storywriter who lives his stories rather than watching them on TV. He authored the Six Figure Coaching Model and helps his community do what they love. Connect with Justin on twitter @pastdue.
Today’s post was inspired by fellow Free Agent Academy member, Michael Wright. Michael took the initiative last week to email me and ask if we could have lunch together so we can get to know each other better, discuss what we’re currently working on, and see how we can help each other.
Our lunch together was AWESOME! I’m extremely glad we got to take that time and get to know each other better.
We invested in each other. We shared ideas and knowledge with each other.
Enjoy the show!
So I ask you, are you investing in other people? If so, who? If not, why not?
Also, stay tuned for the new series One Thing that will be coming out each Wednesday. You’ll learn first hand, from 1) people who are already successful in business and 2) people doggedly pursuing self employment, what is the One Thing they would tell someone who was starting a business of their own.
Our guest posters are investing in YOU and in ME! I hope you’re excited to learn from them, because I know I am!
After lying in bed for 45 minutes WIDE AWAKE, I finally got up and took a shower. I originally thought I was too tired to take my evening shower, but apparently not.
I’m wide awake due to two things. 1) I had caffeine with dinner (it keeps me up at night if I have it after 2PM). and 2) My mind is racing a million miles an hour with ideas for blog posts. So I need to get some of them out.
One of the thoughts that I keep having lately is, “What’s my motivation?” “Why do I want to start A Better Way of Business?” “Is my reason strong enough to carry me through the difficult times that I know lay ahead?”
I don’t have exact answers for all those questions. At least not the short, sweet, one sentence answers that many experts might say you should be able to give. But I have ideas feelings and beliefs.
Allow me to explain part of what I mean and give you an answer to “What’s my motivation.”
I read the E-Myth by Michael Gerber probably around six years ago. I was fascinated by his story of how he became involved in helping small businesses. I loved his discussions on the “entrepreneurial seizure”, “the technicians”, and why you need to “work on your business vs in it”. I loved the idea of putting systems in place so your process is repeatable by others so you don’t have to be there every minute of every day.
I remember thinking only a few chapters in, “I WISH I could do this!” I wanted to help small businesses transform from the worst job you’ve ever had (and the lowest paying) to the business you dreamed of when you first started. I wanted to help people start a business in the RIGHT way so they could avoid the pain of mistakes and possible failure down the line.
I dreamed of doing this.
And that’s all I did.
Me, being me, I analyzed the CRAP out of the idea and thought of 100, may several hundred, reasons why I could NEVER do it.
So I talked myself out of it. I crushed my inner spirit and desire to try it.
I put the book with all its highlights, pen marks, and written notes in the margins and at tops and bottoms of pages back on my book shelf and forgot about it.
Then came the pivotal time when Skye told me to put up or shut up with regards to starting a business. I decided I WOULD start a business, but didn’t know what.
I thought long and hard. I asked others what they thought (people who knew a lot about me and how I’m wired).
The spark came when Skye pointed out that the only job I’ve ever enjoyed was teaching. I LOVED helping students learn. I got a THRILL from standing in front of the class talking. I got a RUSH from sharing with others what I had in my head. And I can think of few things as satisfying to me as the point in time when you’re looking into someone’s eyes and you see that they FINALLY GET IT!
So I, or should I say we, decided that teaching should be a part of my business. The only issue is I didn’t and don’t want to teach for a school. There’s numerous reasons for this, but that’s for another discussion.
So how can I take the aspects of teaching that made teaching GREAT to me and apply them to a business?
I could take the aspects of teaching that I loved and combine them with what I saw Michael Gerber do in E-Myth!
A Better Way of Business was born.
I could help people take the idea they have and turn it into a business that functions properly from the get go. I could help the business owner who has created the worst job they’ve ever had, with the longest hours and lowest pay, and show that person how to turn their creation into a successful business. I could share knowledge that I have, with others, to benefit them. I could speak to groups of people who are all wanting to start a business, and thereby get the experience of standing in front of others sharing. I could work one on one with people and witness first hand the spark of recognition when they GOT IT!
It is the best of both worlds.
It is what motivates me to take one step after another in the direction I am sure success lies.
It is why A Better Way of Business exists.
This is the first episode of a new series titled, Be Remarkable.
In this series I’m going to highlight people and businesses that are doing just that, they are being remarkable.
Whether or not it is in how they are building their product, how they are interacting with their customers, how they pour their heart into what they are doing, I’m going to highlight people doing things in remarkable ways.
My focus is not just small businesses. In this series you will see a variety of people and businesses; however, every episode of Be Remarkable will show case a remarkable action that can be implemented in YOUR business. So whether I’m highlighting my father, a local landscaper, or the breakfast crew at my local Chickfila, there will be something remarkable that you can take away and apply to YOUR business.
I’m VERY excited to start this series by show casing none other than my Pops, Louis Bickett. Since his retirement 10+ years ago Pops has been a wood worker. He started making furniture and more recently transitioned into wood turning, or as he likes to say, “Making square things round.”
I don’t want to spoil what is so remarkable about LCB Woodturning, so please, enjoy the video:
So Pops is remarkable because he is SO GOOD at what he does that potential clients COME TO HIM and ASK HIM to make pieces for them. Pops doesn’t turn wood for a business, he does it because he loves it, but when and if he does turn LCB Woodturning into a business he’ll have clients lined up asking to buy his pieces.
I ask you, are you so good at what YOU do that clients come to you, instead of the other way around? Because most of us have to go looking for clients and ask them to do business with us.
You have seen this name FREQUENTLY here at A Better Way of Business, but I want to thank Justin Lukasavige for the inspiration for this series. Check out this post by him over at coachradio.tv to see what I mean.