I have a confession… sometimes Tom drives me absolutely nuts! I love him to death, but a woman needs a break. It’s like his mind is always on. I feel like he has a new idea for a product or business venture for us every day. And all of these ideas of course involve me, since when you’re married you make decisions together. Especially financial ones.
People are different, and they often need different amounts of time to process information.
If you are married to an entrepreneur, there are only 2 speeds; their speed and not fast enough to keep up.
I don’t know about you, but it takes me a little time to process all these new things he throws my way. It’s always a lot of information on something that may not know much about, and I try not to react until I’m able to think it through. That never goes over well with the hubby. He wants my answer and stamp of approval right away! But Momma needs a minute.
I like to think I’m pretty smart, but his ideas are always a little scary to me. It takes a lot to jump in to a new venture, especially when it’s going to take some personal funds or a significant time investment to start-up. And it’s not that I don’t have confidence in my amazing partner, but now that we have a family to think about I like to give us time to deliberate.
Although we still have to work through some issues from time to time, here is my advice and how I handle these types of situations when they come up.
One of the most important items in any relationship is the ability to listen to your partner. Listening is the most important aspect of communication, and without it your spouse may think that you don’t believe in them or the idea. I realize that Tom’s mind operates differently than mine, and that it is important that even though I need time to process, I listen to his ideas. Tom also realizes that he is this way, and sometimes he just needs to get the idea out there and then provide me time to process it.
A lot of people think that money is Tom’s motivating factor, but that could not be further from the truth. From living with Tom for several years and many discussions, I know that what he truly wants is freedom. Especially now that we have Elena (our 2-year-old daughter), Tom has been even more motivated to figure out how he can spend more time with us. For this reason, it is very important that I show interest in his ideas and let him know that I support his goals (that tie into our goals).
Once I have time to process everything, Tom and I sit down and really talk through things. These discussions can sometimes be difficult, but we know respect each other and know that we can talk open and honestly. One of the things that usually helps us both come to an agreement is when we focus on our collective goals. Several times a year we review our goals and determine how we can achieve them. By focusing on these goals, we can determine if the idea or new business venture will get us closer to achieving those goals or not.
In the case of starting this blog, Tom actually wrote out all of the reasons that we should start this and left it on my pillow. I was able to read through the reasons and process them on my own time. After reading his several pages of notes, I was convinced and we had some fantastic conversations of what we could really turn this website into and we got started.
We don’t always proceed with the ideas. Sometimes after discussions or reviewing our goals we realize that an idea just doesn’t make sense. Other times, we do decide that an idea will work and will determine our goals related to the venture and a plan of attack.
Listen. Ask Questions. Show interest in your partner’s idea, but let them know you may need time to think things over. Communicate with each other. After all, this new business is going to be something the two of you have to work on together. If you aren’t honest with them before it begins, it will just make for points of contention between you, and will eventually carry over into your marriage. If you can do all this, you are on your way to a healthy, happy business! And as a side effect, a healthy working relationship with your spouse. :O)