Is Your Significant Other A Necessary Part of Your Business Success ?

Seriously? Is the Pope Catholic? Is the ocean salty? Does a bear “ahem” in the woods?

The answer to the rhetorical question of whether your significant other is a necessary part of your business success is an emphatic YES!

Let’s get one thing straight Your spouse is your lifeline. There is very little about growing a business that involves certainty. To the contrary, doubt is the name of the game. While in the constant throes of fear, skepticism, and ambiguity, you need someone to continuously remind you that you are smart enough, you are good enough, and well, you are sane. Some people refer to this support as “emotional venture capital”.

One of Sheryl Sandberg’s messages in her Barnard commencement address was that the most important career decision one will make is whether or not to have a life partner and who that life partner is.

Consider the following quotes that clearly view entrepreneurship as a team sport, with spousal support as a competitive advantage.

  • “Spousal emotional support consistently decreases the recipient’s (entrepreneur’s) negative effect from a stressor and increases the recipient’s
    self-efficacy.”
  • “The majority of entrepreneurs in a sample of 468 indicated that their spouse was their biggest supporter.

5 Ways Your Significant Other Can Help You Succeed In Your Business

When stresses from your business (time management, long hours, lack of sleep, money) enter your relationship, they have the potential to create distance, disagreements and disconnection. When you receive a steady stream of support from your partner studies have shown that you will:

  • Be motivated to move forward
  • Create greater intimacy
  • Have higher rates of concentration
  • Have a higher view that you are headed in the right direction
  • Lower the likelihood of experiencing fatigue

Your competitive advantage in business is the support you have at home. The following are the gifts of support you need from your mate:

Respect– Respect is a key ingredient in any relationship. As an entrepreneur, you know the value you bring to the world. You need your partner to respect and appreciate your ideas too.

Forgiveness – Entrepreneurs know they will fail, perhaps more times than they succeed. They tend to bounce back faster than most, however they are still human and need their partner’s forgiveness when they fall on their face. You do not want your partner to hold grudges.

Honest Communication –You want your partner to be brutally honest with you in a constructive way. They need to be kind and encouraging of you in a safe environment.

Trust – Your committed relationship needs to be built on trust You need your partner to interact with you with integrity.

Hugs and Kisses – Studies have shown that an eight-second hug releases oxytocin chemicals in the brain that make you feel good.

I am not going to say that your business will fail without the support of your partner, but I do know that your significant other’s support is critical to your success. A strong relationship does not just happen by accident. You need to do your part in explaining to them that you need their respect, forgiveness, honest communication, trust and lots of kisses.

In the next blog, I will talk about the support the entrepreneur’s partner needs

  1. Danes, S.M., Craft, S., Jang, Juyoung, and Lee, J. October 2013. “Liability of Newness: Assessing Couple Social Support When Starting a New Business Venture.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 39, no. 3; 515-529.
  2. Hisrich, R.D. and Brush, D.G. 1984. “The Woman Entrepreneur: Management Skills and Business Problems.”Journal of Small Business Management, 22; 30-37.