Hello, sweet friends! I am SO glad you are joining me today as I am sharing about one of my favorite topics! One thing I’ve come to learn since starting my business back in 2012 is that it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. It takes leadership, guts, and a ‘make things happen’ attitude in order to sustain any venture and make it profitable. But another aspect of business ownership that not a lot of people discuss very often these days is how to balance entrepreneurship with important relationships – the most important being, in my opinion, your spouse!
I married my college sweetheart shortly after starting my wedding planning company and goodness – there has been lots of bumps and crashes (and full-blown Titanic ‘sinking’ scenes) along the way. But today, I’m hoping to share with you some of the things I have learned that will forever be vital in sustaining a strong marriage while diving head-first into building your business! I hope you find some of these helpful and make a commitment to implement some of these into your own marriages (or romantic relationships)!
1. Consider Your Spouse in Business Decisions (Always)
This doesn’t necessarily mean ask them questions about what you should blog about the next day, or who you should go out to lunch with next. These decisions are normally the larger, more impactful ones. Decisions that impact either business (and ultimately, family) finances, your schedule and/or availability to them (long and/or overnight trips and/or evening activities – or really anything outside of your normal schedule), and/or long-term goals that you both have set for your family (and business – as you both should be on the same page about where your business is headed, as well!). These are things that could seriously impact your relationship, so it’s best to have open communication about them and decide on these things together.
2. Make Quality Time a Priority
News flash – and this is something we already know, but have such a hard time executing – if you’re spending more time networking with industry colleagues and meeting with clients than you do with the person who you have committed to doing life with, something is seriously wrong. Stop it and change your route fast. Marriages require constant cultivation, even more so than what is involved with growing a business! If you are not being as intentional about strengthening your marriage as you are being with strengthening your business – please refocus and make an effort to do so. Think of your marriage as a business, sometimes that helps me to check myself and ensure that I’m doing what it takes to sustain a ‘successful’ marriage.
Now – disclaimer, when I mean ‘more time’ I am meaning OUTSIDE of your normal work hours (and if you don’t have those, that is for another post!). Within your work hours, it is assumed that you both are focusing on your careers. However, once work hours are over – prioritizing becomes VERY important! Does this mean that you have to completely unplug once your work hours are over – not at all. However, you should definitely be intentional about making your spouse and family a priority and schedule work around that.
3. Learn How & When to Say No
How in the world do we plan to do right by #2 if we say ‘yes’ to every business opportunity that pops up in our email? How can we intentionally set aside time for our spouse if our business suddenly takes off and we say ‘yes’ to every single inquiry? It is definitely one of the things I have struggled with the most. We want to make our businesses profitable and sustainable, but at what point is it ‘enough’? Here is where some pen and paper (or excel, of course) can be put to some good use! As business owners, no matter how much we hate it as creatives, we need do the math to calculate how much we need to profit in order to 1) break even and 2) how much profit we need in order to live the life that we desire with our families. This is SO important to know when deciding on how many clients (and what kind) you want to take on, and the corresponding pricing that you will help you to achieve the desired numbers. We must also take a look at who our ideal client is and be sure that every one of those clients we accept fit the bill so we won’t miss out on them due to accepting too many who did not align with our core values.
Now I know when to say no, but how do I say it? I’d hate to leave you with some great advice on knowing when to decline certain opportunities, but not help you get over the next ledge (I’m a people-pleaser, so this one was and IS so hard for me!). It really does become much easier the more you practice it–I promise! I highly recommend creating a canned response for declination emails. This way, you don’t have to stress about it each and every time you realize that you need help saying no. It’s already there – simply fill in the blanks and press ‘send’. Need some inspiration? Here’s mine! ☺
“Hello, <insert client first name>,
Thank you SO much for your interest in my planning/coordination services! I am extremely happy and honored every single time I receive an inquiry from a couple who is considering having me to stand alongside them on one of the most important days of their lives! Unfortunately, I do not feel as though I would be able to provide the services and/or experience that you both desire on your special day. However, I do still know that, regardless of whom you ultimately end up with as your wedding day champion, your wedding day will be absolutely amazing! Here’s to a beautiful wedding day and, more importantly, a beautiful marriage! XO”
I SO hope these tips were helpful to those who are currently in this phase of life! It is SO hard balancing marriage and business – trust me, I know! I would love to know if some of you experiment with implementing some of these tips, how they work out for you! Your spouse is your life partner and they should be an integral part of your business, as well! Thanks so much to the Rising Tide Society for allowing me to share with you all, today! Here’s to more beautiful marriages (and businesses) all across the world!