Dear Aunty B,
My husband has been a very patient man. I started a retail services business in 1995 and now have 10 staff. It has been a struggle, with long hours and weekend work. Recently it seemed under control, but then in one week I lost a large client, had a large bad debt, and one of my key staff resigned.
I was naturally upset. This has seemed to tip husband over the edge and he is demanding I sell/quit and spend more time with him.
My question is this. Who goes? The husband or the business? And do all business owners end up in this situation with their partners? And if so, why does anyone run a business?
You ditch the husband. Shocked? Let’s face it. If you are writing to me to ask whether you should stay in the marriage, the answer is obvious! May I suggest, however, that before you completely bail out, you seek some help.
You may find that your marriage has been a very important part of building your business and that you do not fare nearly as well without it. You may find your health suffers – married people in general have better health and live longer than single people.
You may also find that your husband is a caring man who is making a decision on your behalf that may be for your own good. Why? Because you may be too obsessed, passionate and stubborn to see things clearly.
Do all business owners end up in this situation with their partners? The research I have done into small and medium business owners, and much of the research I have read, shows that most people running fast growing businesses are married.
In fact, a much higher proportion of people running successful businesses are married when compared to the general population. I am always surprised, DB, because I have no idea why this is so and never read any adequate explanation.
I do know that many start-up entrepreneurs deliberately look for someone who can understand and support their natural tendencies (which would drive most of the population nuts). And that they may go through several partners before finding someone who can tolerate them.
So here is what I suggest: Get stuck into some hard work – this time with your husband – so at least you know at the end you have made the right decision.
Your Aunty B.