Thursday, April 7, 2011

How Will Your Family Be Involved in Your Entrepreneurial Plans?

 As a new business may demand even more time than a job outside the home, it may cause conflicts and build resentment between you and your spouse and other family members. Here are some guidelines to help you prevent this from happening.
Working with a Spouse
     A husband-wife team who write historical romance novels under one pseudonym, share in raising their children and in developing their writing career. In working together they say, “We want our life relationship with one another to be distinctly separate from our work relationship. This is sometimes tough, but this is how we go about it.”
     “We consider each novel that we write as a “product.” As collaborative writers, each of us is contributing to the process of creating that product. However, we force ourselves to remember that ‘we’ are not the same as the ‘product.” In separating ourselves (or at least distancing ourselves) from the product, we avoid investing all of our feelings of ‘self-worth in it. Sure, we produced it, but we also have other things more important in our lives. By thinking this way, we make ourselves less defensive about our contribution, and our relationship as a couple can continue to operate and develop (and maybe even flourish) on an entirely separate plane of existence.” 
     Before a couple enters into a business together, partners should ask one another the following questions:
*“Do you have the kind of relationship that thrives on plenty of time spent together?
*Does distance make the heart grow fonder, or do you prefer to spend as much time as possible with your mate?
*Do you each have unique skills and interests to contribute to the venture, and a shared passion for the product or type of business?
*Have you worked out a way to resolve conflict?
*Are you willing to share power and control with your spouse?
*Have you considered the financial risk of “putting all of your eggs in one basket?

“Remember this," says one entrepreneurial partner. "Rewards for entrepreneurial partners are enormous—and so are the risks. Be sure that you are coupling for the right reasons, and that you communicate up front about your concerns and fears. And then, keep the communication open as you proceed."

SIDEBAR: What Successful Entrepreneurial Couples Do...
*Assess their strengths and skills and match them accordingly to the business’ tasks.
*Integrate the business with the family but not allowing it to interfere with the sheer enjoyment of family life activities.
*Show appreciation for each person’s contribution to the business with positive comments and support instead of criticism and ridicule.
*Regularly plan their business’ goals together.
*Share household chores and child-rearing.

Next: Tips for Two Entrepreneurs Working Under One Roof

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