I love my husband dearly. We have been together for twenty three years and married for eighteen. During our time together, we have made lots of big decisions on all manner of grown-up things, like which flat to rent, where to buy our first house, endowment versus repayment mortgages, when to start a family, childcare solutions, where to send our daughters to school. You get the picture. It has always been an equal debate, considering the pros and cons together and weighing up all the options. My husband is the one person whose opinion I trust, he’s my best friend, soul mate and the one I turn to in my hour of need. My husband is amazing at many things, but my husband, I have just recently discovered, is not a business coach.
With every business, there comes a need to plan, market, strategize, deliver and manage and when you are a sole trader like me it can be tough, there’s no one to bounce ideas off. My business vision rattles around in my head and so naturally, I want to talk ideas through with the one person I’ve always discussed big decisions with. I verbalise goals, suggest ideas, sound out solutions, get into my flow and look for recognition that I’m doing things right. And that’s when I can see my husband’s eyes glaze over. It’s not that he’s disinterested, far from it, he is incredibly supportive of me and is extremely proud of my achievements to date. However, I’m forgetting that this is a world that I’ve thrown myself into, independently of him and, I may be aware of the importance of blogging, SEOs, profiles and algorithms but this is terminology he is completely unfamiliar with – I could be speaking in another language as far as he’s concerned. For example, I bet if I asked him what a ‘Perfect Pitch’ is, he’d say the Arsenal ground at the Emirates!
In the early days, running a business was just something I did around the kids and apart from getting a few business cards printed, I did little else to move it forward. This all changed in 2014, when our youngest daughter went to secondary school which allowed me to focus more on my work and to treat it as a proper business rather than a hobby. Things have started to get serious and with that, more important decisions are needed to be made on a daily basis.
I think my husband would be the first to say that he’s underqualified to advise me when I’m quizzing him on his opinions of my latest Mailchimp campaign or whether I need to boost a post on Facebook. The bottom line is, he just wants to know I’m making money and I’m happy. And who can blame him? I wouldn’t want to know what he was writing in his company newsletter or the problems he’s having with the staff rota.
For me, I’ve realised it’s very important to regularly surround myself with like-minded people who are also passionate about growing their businesses. Together, we can inspire each other and suggest fresh ways of doing things. Networking, forums and even online Facebook closed groups are brilliant for this. That way you are speaking the same language and not relying on those light bulb moments from across the dinner table, with your nearest and dearest to make your business decisions.
It’s taken a while for me to suss out that my husband is not a business coach and, although I won’t stop sharing the highlights of my day with him, I will just spare him all the nitty gritty day to day stuff that he probably doesn’t need or want to know. Now we can just concern ourselves with exciting grown-up decisions like where are going on holiday this year