Can we talk about spouses of entrepreneurs for a moment? In most instances, they are our biggest, most vocal supporters. But, how are THEY doing as we navigate through our entrepreneurial journey? Last weekend, my husband and I had a long chat about the impact of my “business owner life” on him and our family. It’s a requirement for us because the impact of my entrepreneur life almost took out our marriage (twice). Now, don’t get me wrong — Chris Wooten is AWESOME, but it is not always easy for him (or me), and I had to own some of that. Anyhow, I noted below a few things he and I have learned, along with how we managed to address them —
1. Sometimes, It Feels Like My Two Businesses Come Before My Family.
If you let it, running a small business can eat up your entire day. So, you have to schedule and dedicate time (and your 100% focus) to your marriage and your family. For me, school functions/recitals, family dinner, Friday date night, and Sunday (all day) are sacred and “untouchable” by my business. Well, unless I am on-site managing an event at that time. My family gives me a pass for that!
2. Sometimes, He is Incredibly Worried About Me.
Running a business can take a toll on your physical and spiritual health. And, if you are not careful, it will wear you down. I am pretty sure I have “aged like a president” since I started Howerton+Wooten Events! And, my husband had a front row seat to that. For a while, my stress almost consumed him, so I am intentional about three things, 1.) Prayer. 2.) Taking care of our family’s health. 3.) Open and honest communication about everything.
3. The Allure of “Taking the Risk” Might War Off for the Spouse
In the beginning, everything is new and fresh and exciting. But eventually, the charm of launching a start-up may dissipate for your spouse. With a new business, their parental roles could increase or their own dreams get ignored or their fears of financial loss become real. —I get it. Chris Wooten is a “money guy,” so we have regular chats about my business finances. He doesn’t get to have a say about them, but sharing these details calm his fears and concerns. I also make sure we commit family time and resources to his dreams. These little steps go a long way.
Bonus Point #1: Your family needs to feel appreciated.
I’ve always been grateful to my husband and my son for all that they do as I pursue my dreams, but I don’t know if I always verbalize it as much as I should. So, I try to find ways to showcase my appreciation to them every now and then because I know I couldn’t do what I do without them. Also, for years, they would help me with the set up and tear down my events. I don’t pay my husband (ha!), but I make sure that I include Chris when I give my team holiday gifts at the end of the year. My husband loves the gifts— My son prefers the cash.
Bonus Point #2: In a Pinch, “Good” Sex Goes a Long Way.
Stay with me on this one. I’m almost finished. When I am deep in “convention planning mode” or deep in the busiest part of wedding season, my “event life” takes over and I am in “the zone.” But, here’s the thing—spouses don’t like to be ignored. It hurts their feelings and it may impact their self-esteem. That’s where good sex comes in. Until you can re-emerge from your event planning “haze,” remember that good, solid intimacy with your spouse goes a long way.