Most, but not all, company owners are men. Men and women think differently. Ghee Tom, I didn't need to read your article to know that. Correct. However, think about this for a moment. As a male entrepreneur you are used to taking risks. Simply making the decision to go into business was a big risk. You were probably a bit concerned, but not really worried. If you needed to borrow money along the way, you did, no big deal. So you missed a paycheck or two along the way, hey it comes with the territory. Don't all owners miss a check now and then?
Now think about your wife for a moment. Most women want two things from their husband. They want financial security and they want their husband around spending time with them and the children.
Working 50-70 hours a week doesn't leave a lot of family time. Unfortunately, even when you are physically home your mind often stayed at the office. You are thinking about the business, not your wife and children. When it comes to missing a paycheck every once in awhile, and especially borrowing money again and again, that puts a huge strain on your wife. When your wife is under stress, especially stress in the two above areas we just touched on, what happens? You got it, relationships begin to crumble.
To make matters worse, many wives work at the office right alongside of their husbands. Well, sort of. The husband is away from the office much of the day to run jobs, make sales presentations, pick up parts or out for dozens of other reasons. He is generally not really concerned about the money end of the business. After all, he is bringing in huge amounts of money so the company “must” be making a profit. Well maybe, but again he is often really not concerned because his wife is handling that part of the business.
Back at the office, what is your wife thinking about all day. Here are just a few thoughts that run across her mind.
- Is there going to be enough money in the checkbook for payroll this week?
- How much longer can I stall paying our suppliers before they cut us off, or put us on COD?
- Are we going to have to borrow on our line of credit again this month?
- Even if we do pay all our bills, and make payroll, will there be money left so we can pay ourselves?
- If we keep missing paychecks how am I going to pay the mortgage and/or other bills, not to mention grocery money?
- How are we going to send the kids to college?
- I'm so far behind invoicing that I really need to stay at the office for another couple of hours. However, if I do who will pick the kids up at school or fix dinner? Looks like it's going to be McDonalds or pizza….again.
- I really would like to be home more but we can't afford to pay another office person to take my place.
- Why do I have to carry all the financial stress here at the office and at the house? Why can't my husband help me in that area or at least show some concern about the situation?
- I wonder what time he will be home tonight? Will he even see the kids before bedtime? He's always up and gone before they even get up in the morning.
- My friend Mary's husband seems to take her out to dinner often. They even go on a family vacation each year. Me? I might see my husband at lunch and it's been years since we had a family vacation.
Yes guys, your wives really are thinking those things. After weeks, months and years of stress and financial pressure relationships really do crumble……and sadly many marriages do not make it.
If the business is well run, and making money, that removes some of the stress. If the company is not making money the perfect storm is probably forming on the horizon.
Do yourself, your wife, and your children a huge favor. Run a profitable business. Profitable businesses allow the owner to take a regular and reasonable salary. That will take some stress off of your wife, and your relationship. Unless your wife really wants to work in the business (and some do) hire someone to do what she is doing and allow her to be the wife and mother she envisioned while growing up.
Next, be willing to delegate. Hire the people you need to spread your workload so you can work somewhat normal hours. And spend some quality time with your family.
If you do those things your wife will be happier, the children will be more secure, and your relationships with both will improve. Bottom line: Keep your priorities in order. Your business is a big part of your life, but it's not your entire life!
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