I’m always struck when people I work with or meet, say ‘it must be so much easier not having a partner’. I usually nod, and say yes, sometimes, but it’s swings and roundabouts.
So let’s talk about this, shall we. Firstly, why did I go with that title. Well, this week I did shrink a couple of things in my biz, including some events. Purely because with my business growth and personal commitments, I need to really streamline. Is it a bit of shrinkage? Yes, at the moment it is. Did I have to discuss this with anyone? No, well apart from a couple of friends for some sparkly words of wisdom. However – it also means that all of the responsibility is mine.
Responsibility. Not a bad thing. When it’s your business, especially if you are a sole trader / solopreneur etc – it is your responsibility!!! I’m not sure why some people seem to forget this, when they have a partner.
Let me ask this question: If you were working full time for someone and decided to spend $100 of your joint money to attend a seminar to help you in your job, would you tell / ask / discuss this with your partner???
I guess, no. In fact, with the clients and friends I have asked this of so far the answer has been no.
So why is it? Well, in my experience it has something to do with that fact that you don’t take your business 100% as seriously as your previous (or current) job. Add a touch scarcity mentality, a fear of failure and wanting someone else to help you make decisions (in case they suck) and I think we have the problem.
It takes balls to start a business. No question. But, I see so many women in business shrink their balls, when it comes to some of the decision making (especially involving $$) in their business. Maybe I shouldn’t use the term ‘balls’ here, because one of the things I am passionate about is women remaining feminine whilst in business.
Some of the things my clients say they discuss $$ with their partners for:
- Large business expenses
- Large household items
- Car maintenance
Whilst these are some of the things they said they didn’t discuss (and in some cases hid):
- Splurges for themselves (boots, handbags etc)
- Stuff for the kids (small and large)
- Household maintenance
- General business expenses
There are a gazillion other points, but these seemed to be the main ones.
What I can’t figure out, is why some women feel they have to hide spending $500 on a clothing splurge, and justify spending $500 on a new website tweak……BUT……they don’t even mention having to spend $500 on something to do with junior at school.
Maybe it’s because I’m single that I don’t get it – but I don’t think that’s totally it. Think about it. Do you think Oprah has a chat to Stedman when she decides to spend $1,000,000 on something or if she spends $100,000 in DKNY??? I don’t think so. Now, for the purposes of this exercise and scale – a $500 seminar is probably the same for most small business owners.
I don’t get why some people need permission to invest in themselves. I can understand the hiding a shopping splurge (I’ve been known to do that even from my mum and daughter). I can understand having to discuss expenses – but business permission I don’t get (from someone who is not a traditional business partner – and even then there are usually guidelines). Maybe I am naive.
Sometimes people ask for the permission, not for the permission but because they then think the responsibility is shared. Bullshit. Sorry to burst your bubble folks. Just because your husband Jim Bob told you to go ahead and spend $10,000 bringing in those new hoosywatsists for your online store, doesn’t mean you can blame him when they don’t sell.
REGARDLESS OF WHO YOU ASK – WHEN IT’S YOUR BUSINESS THE RESPONSIBILITY IS YOURS!!!!
Honestly I have seen such a shift in people when they put on their big girl pants, stop needing permission for everything they spend money on, treat their business like a growing concern and just keep moving.
Maybe it’s a good time to set some boundaries with your partner – about what does and doesn’t need to be discussed. One couple I know – both with their own businesses have a $10,000 point. If it’s over that amount – it must be discussed, under that – go with your gut (unless you want to discuss it). I think that’s a great idea. I’d make the $$ figure a percentage of turn over or profit that you can measure easily. Then if it continues to be expenses like education / seminars for example after a couple of years, build it into your budget for the business. I know what % I allow myself to spend on continuing education each year (some would say toooo much)- and it’s a great incentive to keep growing my business, because I LOVE education!!!!
All I’m asking is that the next time you think you have to discuss spending $100 on your business, ask yourself the following questions before going for the standard – get permission and share responsibility.
As a side note – I wonder if I’ll have issues when I do find my next partner because I’m not used to having to discuss / get permission for anything. Did I mention my new boots……mmmmm