How Do I Get My Spouse On Board?
So we are going to do a marriage and entrepreneurship theme today. I got a lot of questions about this, but I got one question in particular so often so I figured let’s do a podcast about it. And here is the question that I generally hear. This from an entrepreneur or somebody who want to be an entrepreneur and they’re really driven to make this work but they can’t get their spouse on board. And you might be surprised by how common this is. And this is not a gender thing like the man wants it and the woman doesn’t. I see it both ways. I see it often where it’s the wife that wants this and that husband can’t wrap his head around it or scared. So, I get the question all the time on how did I get my wife on board for this life. And the simple answer is, it wasn’t easy.
See Elizabeth, like so many people were raised to think safely. They were raised to go to school, get good grades, follow directions, get a good job, don’t rock the boat. And so much about the entrepreneurial life is rocking the boat. You have to, otherwise you’re not gonna stand out and you’re not gonna succeed. But how do you get somebody who went to 12 or 16 years of schooling where they were never really allowed to challenge anybody and it was ingrained in them, it was drilled into their head to get a job with benefits because that safety and that security. And your irresponsible if you don’t do that. How do you get somebody once they are married, maybe they’ll have kids now to then be rogue and say we’re going to go start a business and we’re going to be on our own. That is a tough, tough challenge to overtake and I wish it wasn’t because I think if they saw how much more potential there is on this side and how much less scary because you control your fate. Your income is unlimited. Your time, freedom is unlimited. The only person that could stop you from doing the work you want to do generally is you.
I just wish there was a way to get like a free trial period. You know like those 14 day, hey try for 14 days, if you don’t like it return it. I can tell you that so many of these people that are going through this and are scared and if they have a 14-day trial into this world, by the end of the 14 days, they would seriously be questioning going back to a safe and steady secure job, but there’s no way really of doing that.
So I want to talk to you about how I essentially got Elizabeth on board to understand where I was coming from so we can live this. And also, the mistakes I made in trying so maybe I can help you avoid some of the mistakes. So, I’m gonna start with the mistakes first cause the mistakes are the most fun to talk about. The success is like okay whatever, we did this, it worked, let’s move on but mistakes are where the fun stories are.
Okay. So, what did I do wrong in the process? And here’s what I think was the main thing that I did wrong is I made about what I wanted. And that sounds like “Duh?! that is what I want.” And yeah at that point I thought the same thing. But you got to understand that generally somebody in the relationship values security and quite often the other one values freedom. And I’m gonna generalize with saying that the person that wants the freedom is generally the one that wants to start a business and go on their own and try this. And the one that wants security is frightened of it.
So, what did I do wrong? One of the many things? What I did wrong was I just sold my side of it. I sold the freedom, I sold the travel, I sold the time freedom. The potential for more money, to do the work that we loved. To me that sounded like a slam-dunk, grand slam, put them all together to win her and in my brain, how could you say no to that? But when you say all that to somebody that values security, you’re excited and they’re frightened. Plus, the free spirits like us, we have a way of bulldozing to get what we want. So, if you want to get pushback, if you want to get to challenge, if you want to get somebody to not go along with your ideas, come along with some pie-in-the-sky crazy what seemed like an impossible dream that’s never been taught to them by either their parents or their school. Throw it on them with relentless enthusiasm and be a steamroller while you’re at it. That’s what I did. And all it did was repel Elizabeth and scare her.
So having said that, how do we flip it around to not only wasn’t she scared but she’s actually start getting excited and then start to see the possibilities and then at some point was just as excited as I was. And here’s how it happened and it happens with a lot of people this way and it’s kind of counterintuitive, but I started asking her what she wanted. What a novel idea. And warning at first it was just what we had right then because she was scared. It was very little dream involved. I was the dreamer, she was the practical one. But I started bringing what she wanted as opposed to what I wanted and she didn’t feel attacked and she can feel pressured. She slowly starts opening up about the dreams that she had had. Dreams that were suppressed, dreams that she didn’t feel very comfortable sharing. But once I gave her the room and interest in knowing what she wanted in this world, we start having conversations.
And what happen was, over time, our dream started blending. Now maybe they weren’t as far and as extreme as I was thinking originally but man, what she was coming to was way closer to the life that I wanted and what we had. And the magical part was once it became more of what she wanted and it was more of her idea, I kind of backed away a little bit quite often and then let her come to me with what she wanted. Where are the places you want to travel to? What were the different things you want to do? I’ll be honest with you, the idea of where we went wasn’t as important as the idea that well if we can do this and she’s into it we can do anything. So maybe it is just a small trip, maybe just a small weekend trip somewhere close. But once you do that during the week and you realize “Oh Wow.” Everything that I thought you know, going on vacation Fourth of July whether it is the week or weekends or just in the summertime. Once you travel during the week in September or May when nobody else is there, you start to see Wow, there’s a whole world out there that nobody is using and we get better prices. We get more availability. Everything is better. Then once the scariness of it was gone, she was way more into all the ideas. And just getting a little bit of the taste of that was interesting because then as we did go back to our jobs and our normal life, she started saying “Yeah that would be nice if we had that time off. it would be nice if we controlled our schedule more. After having done this trip, man, we can go and travel here for longer periods of time.”
And then we got to brainstorm together and be there as a couple in terms of dreaming and planning, were both excited equally. And once you realize we couldn’t do this without a business thriving and the time freedom and the money freedom, that’s when it was no longer scary to go build the business because she saw the fruits of what would come out on the other side. But we needed to be able to dream together on it. It couldn’t just be my idea, so getting on the same page sharing your dreams and visions, being honest about the downfalls of it, being honest about yeah, we are going to lose this. Like yeah, we’ll lose health insurance through them but do you realize we could pay for ourselves and often it’s way cheaper on our own than it is through the company. Do you realize that by having control of our own money within our own business, the tax advantage of that are so beneficial to us? Meaning we spend more money in taxes working for somebody else than we do working for ourselves because we can write off our business expense. We can plan our travel around our business, which is a complete write off and completely legit.
Once positive after positive came out, I just need to keep my mouth shut and let her get excited about it and then start planning together. So we barely scratch the surface on this one. There are so many more directions we can go in this but hopefully this gave you just a little bit of insight, a little bit of guidance on how you as a couple can work together to build that life, that life of freedom, that life of time, money, location, freedom through self-employment. It just made me realize, we should have Elizabeth on a podcast so she can give her side on this instead of me giving her side of us and maybe even do a Q&A with her at some point,
So, I hope that helps with marriage and entrepreneurship in getting your spouse on board and I will be back with you tomorrow.