When you reach a crossroads in your business or face a big decision, it’s natural to turn to your business partners, staff members and funders for advice. In those moments, you will also inevitably want to seek the opinion of the person closest to you personally as well -- your spouse. You know that as an entrepreneur, your decisions affect more than your own life and financial well-being, they affect your partner as well. How do you effectively communicate with your personal partner about business decisions?
• Think globally, not locally. If you’re considering a massive shift if your business, it’s easy to think only about the outcome of that shift. This is not the time to think locally. Instead, think globally about how this change will affect you, your business, your family and your employees. Will these large changes affect your personal life, for instance, 10, 20 or 30 years from now? Will this change drastically change your schedule or the amount of time you’re spending at home?
• Set a “talk time.” When it comes to your business and big decisions, it’s easy to want to talk about it right now! Don’t. It may be best to give your partner a few hours or days to think through his or her side of the opportunity at hand before having a strong and rational conversation about it. Tell your partner about the situation, provide ample time to think it through and set a specific time to sit down and talk it through, hopefully coming out of the conversation with a decision that works for your personal partnership and for your business.
• Don’t jump the gun. Take the time to seriously move through a rational decision-making process, involving your spouse in the discussions and rationale used to make your decision. Only when you have the best information in front of you and have truly done the work to research your opportunities will you make a decision that isn’t clouded with “what if’s” and speculation.
Every day, entrepreneurs pore over problems and potential solutions in our heads, so much so we forget to involve key personal parties in that we’re so attached to the business issues. It’s true you may be the person running on the entrepreneurial treadmill, but your partner in life has to stand with you as you do.
Marcy Twete is the founder/CEO of Career Girl Network and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works," to be released in summer 2013.