We have had a few small businesses that David has started, developed and then sold for the past couple of decades. The whole idea of being supportive from both partners’ perspectives can only be achieved with passion and dedication to the ideal of owning your own small business. This is especially true if you are trying something totally new, and the supporting partner needs to be just that – supporting in every way.
We have always been a partnership in name with our various small businesses though David has been the driving force behind establishing and running them. I have always been involved to differing degrees and have been across some decision making in regards to the direction of the businesses. Though not having to carry the direct burden as David has had of making a success of his ideas.
“I have always been a board member of our businesses”
Being a step back from the frontline has often sheltered me from the day-to-day stresses of the business and David would at times keep information from me. He constantly says that it is no use telling me too much about the problems at hand and have us both worrying. The only thing is that I would know when is stressing and ‘bottling it up’.
At times like that when the noble commodity of honesty couldn’t be shared, I tried really hard to keep our life on track as per normal. I knew this is what helped David to cope with matters. He would talk things over when he felt the particular situation was easing and appreciated my patience with him. I have found this has been the greatest thing I could do to support him. Just being there for him, present and in the moment.
There can be much pleasure in running your own business, building a small team with great camaraderie as you work on projects in a united way. When you get the wins, it’s wonderful to be able to share this. However there are many disappointments too. There is a lot of hard work involved and set backs are par for the course, which is why there needs to be a great deal of understanding in the fluid nature of this type of work environment.
“The greatest thing I could do was to support him and be there for him”
Being flexible in your thinking and expectations is paramount otherwise life partners feel alienated. We, the ‘silent’ partners, also make great sounding boards for ideas. When you understand the projects and staff’s capabilities, you are in a good position for constructive criticism, sometimes giving beneficial perspectives by being removed from the daily machinations of the business.
Another aspect in regards to the team you build is having your partner feel part of the team as well. This is something David has always ensured with me having differing roles over the years. I have always been a board member of our businesses so I was across the major workings and was able to see the future projections of the business.
Several good friends of ours who also run their own small business have found it very helpful to their relationship for them both to be involve in a similar fashion to us. Having staff that are able to handle looking after the business for you is vital to being able to take a break which is crucial in a relationship.
Life may not always been easy working in small business but it is worth it to be a part of such an amazing community.
How do you find your small business impacts on your partner and your family life? Let us know by commenting below.