This is tough terrain. I know this firsthand. Getting your spouse to buy-in on what you’re chasing can be its own uphill battle. Think about it, you’re shaking things up when the waters were calm. Had you already been working toward your business pre-relationship or pre-kids, even, then this likely wouldn’t have been much of an issue. Your spouse would’ve known what they were signing up for. For the rest of us (yes, I’m included here), it was a tough conversation – or series of conversations – to take on.
Now, before you jump to filling in the blanks, let me be clear. I’m not saying that those of us that have experienced this have unsupportive partners or spouses. Actually, it’s quite the contrary. Think about it this way though: You started wandering down a path and you really liked what you saw. You kept going. The path got a little rocky, but you got more excited each step of the way. Before you knew it, you were pretty far down the path before you realized you wanted to yell back to your partner to come join you, help you out, or to show them what had caught your eye. We need to stop and remind ourselves this though: You’re asking them to walk a path that they never sought out. You’re asking them to help you through the mud when they may have wanted to stay on dry land. You’re asking them to help you balance and trudge along without them knowing what – if anything – is waiting at the end of the path.
Am I about to talk you out of your pursuit of your dream? No. Nada. Not happening.
Do you see where I’m going with this though? We sometimes need to – myself included – put ourselves in their shoes and remember that we’re asking them to do something they never really sought out in the first place. They may have their own passions, business, or career but what we (you and I) are doing is going to affect them. It’s impossible not to. This can look different for all of us. For some of us, perhaps its emotional support as we take on added stress, put ourselves out there and fail, or take rough criticism. For others, it could be financial support that you’re asking for. For all of you mamas, maybe it’s asking our husband to step up and share more of the responsibilities with the kids because your business has busy seasons, or needs your attention a handful of extra hours this week.
So, what gives you the best shot at getting your partner on board? Here are my top 3 pieces of advice:
- Have an uninterrupted conversation about what you’re chasing. You need to pour your heart out to him and he needs to hear and feel your WHY. If you leave the WHY out, he isn’t going to get it. Pro Tip for my mamas: Your kids can’t be running around the in the background. An interrupted conversation (and yes, they will interrupt you right when things get to a pivotal point of the conversation because, well, kids) is not an effective one.
- Be very clear, from the get-go, with what you’re asking your partner for. Give this piece the thought it deserves. Do you need help financially? Do you need more help with the kids? If so, be specific. What does this look like? Do you need a couple hours to dive into your work on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and this means you need him to take the kids to soccer? Give him specifics so he can internalize what supporting you looks like, how he can be involved, and how he can help you win.
- Have the game plan in place. How are you going to build the new business? What steps are you taking? How are you going to get from Step A to Step B to Step C? You don’t need the entire roadmap. You do need, however, to help him understand that you’ve given this serious thought and have a few action steps laid before you.
Learn from my mistake. I wasn’t crystal clear with my husband on #3 for the first several months. It wasn’t that I was keeping it from him, but that I didn’t realize it was the missing piece between him jumping on the bandwagon or being a passerby. Instead, all he knew was what he saw (which was probably 10% of what I was actually doing). It all came to a head one night. We were driving to have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants – sans kids – and having great conversation for the first several minutes. As we got deeper into the conversation, he started asking questions that I felt he should’ve known the answer to. I mean, hello, I’m your wife. How do you not know how I feel about errrrrrything? He started asking specific questions about how I was going to grow this aspect, and what I was going to do if this piece over here failed, or how I would handle backlash from internet trolls. I mean, the questions were pouring in. It started to feel less like a conversation and more like an interrogation (it wasn’t that dramatic, let’s be real, I was just making it dramatic in my head). He didn’t intend it that way whatsoever, but I internalized it that way. We arrived at dinner, ordered our drinks and continued the conversation. Twenty minutes later, I started to explain to him what I had built and accomplished thus far, what I had tested out in my new business, what hadn’t worked, what looked promising, and what my day-to-day looked like. As I started to peel back the layers and show him how much effort, thought and planning was behind my business the conversation began to change. He told me on the way home that night that he’d always supported me since Day 1. He went on to explain that he was my supporter back then, but that he didn’t really understand where he fit in, or how what the roadmap to building this business looked like. It started to make sense to me that if he didn’t know the business plan, how could I expect him to be a raving fan?
This is what I want you to remember about your spouse or partner. They don’t know every thought, struggle, triumph or plan that you have. They don’t know your WHY. Only you know what’s really on your heart and how important this journey is. It’s your journey, but you want them on it with you. You need to define their role and invite them along.
It’s worth mentioning that some spouses (even family members or friends) just won’t be on board. They won’t get it, or they just won’t care. They either don’t truly understand it, they’re jealous of what you’re doing, or maybe they’re too preoccupied with their own career and responsibilities. Don’t let this stop you. If you’re experiencing personal growth, stick with it. Keep shining your light, keep growing and stay focused on what you know will impact others. The purpose you feel inside you is intended to impact others. It’s intended for you to serve. Though you may not audibly hear the response you were hoping for (from a loved one), know that you’re planting seeds. It may take others longer than anticipated to see the change in you and to desire that for themselves. And that is okay.
For many of us, starting something new requires a lot of extra time. And since 24 hours in a day doesn’t feel enough as-is, the only thing you can do is be more intentional. I’ve got you covered with a free downloadable routine to customize your morning. This is where you can get ahead and show your partner what you’re truly capable of.
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