Is the Pain Real Enough?

Why create a community specifically for women entrepreneurs who are in business with a spouse? “I get that you have been in business with your husband and have been successful at it, BUT…”  I have heard, both from the voice inside my head and from the brazen souls who aren’t afraid to question my motives.

Perhaps there isn’t the appetite for this sort of online community; time will tell, as with any business!

This isn’t just a hunch. It’s based on statistics: in the USA and Canada indicate that anywhere from 13% to 19% of ALL businesses are, in fact, some sort of partnership between spouses. Harvard Business Review reports that this pertains to about 3 million business (out of 22 million) in the USA.

Statistics Canada reports that, “15.7 percent of Small Medium Enterprises were majority owned by women and 19.7 percent were equally owned by women and men.” That represents about 225,295 potentially couple-owned businesses in Canada. The report added that majority women-owned and equally-owned percentages have both gone up from 2011 to 2014.

There are similar indicators in Australia, the UK and many Western European countries.

But is the pain of being in business with a spouse big enough to warrant resources, coaching circles, events…?

There’s more evidence that has made me forge ahead with this idea:

  • Women are creating businesses at a much faster rate than men; according to the 2015 State of Women-Owned Business Report by American Express, the fastest-growing entrepreneurial segment in the USA is made up of women from 29-45 years of age who are venturing into their own business either as a mainstay or a side-hustle.
  • Most women I have talked to have ventured into entrepreneurship because they were dissatisfied with the demands of the corporate world, especially as it relates to balancing work and life – family care especially. That’s precisely what pushed me into entrepreneurship almost 20 years ago!
  • There is growing body of international research that indicates women take into account their families, their love relationships, much more often than men when making business decisions. Pair that with the research on women’s fears and self-confidence issues (things like Imposter Syndrome and even the pay gap between men and women), and I sincerely believe there is a big need to have conversations around LOVE and BUSINESS, hence the reason behind this community!

Finally the stories that I have heard from women themselves make me believe there is a need:

  • While I love the flexibility I have by working with my husband, the constant togetherness is a problem for us. Separating business and private life is practically impossible! And how do you keep the romance alive when you talk shop all the time?
  • Honestly, even though I’m working with my husband, it can get super lonely It feels like I’m in a bubble because we work differently and often see the world the world differently. Sometimes there’s this strange competitive tension between us…
  • I find the biggest challenge when tensions are high is to keep it professional and don’t let any personal issues get mixed in.
  • The other BIG challenge to our working relationship is kids and household chores. I work just as hard in my business as he does, but somehow there’s the expectation that I have to do everything at home too??
  • Being a wife/mother/business owner is hard. How does everyone manages outside worries (will my husband get his new job? will my daughter’s school issues be resolved? taxes!!)? I’m wondering how to turn off the worry soundtrack in my mind and get back to business.
  • My fiancé gets what I do… as long as I’m making money. He is supportive but I hate that I feel I have to justify everything everything because his income is the steady one…

And the list goes on…

Is the pain real? I think so. But the payoff can be oh so sweet. To have financial freedom with the money to do what you want, when you want it. To have someone who shares ALL your dreams and is willing and able to work towards them together. To have the satisfaction you have built something no only for your couple but also for your family and the causes you care about. mission is to help women entrepreneurs create their life on their own terms, so they can be happy, healthy and wealthy together with their family!

Have a comment or observation to share? We’d love to hear from you!

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