So you’ve started a direct selling business and you LOVE the product. You spend a ton of time putting together your new consultant plan, your launch party and devouring all the training your company provides. You notice there’s a regional or a national training event and you want to go without a doubt!
That’s when you remember you need to talk to your husband about this trip before you buy the tickets, make flight arrangments and take the time off of work. Now, your husband wasn’t thrilled you joined “one of THOSE companies… you know those, those, pyramid scheme-MLM-spammy companies that are a waste of money” How are you going to convince him that you need to spend the money and time on this training for your business? How are you going to convince him that this is a business, not just a money sink or a hobby??
Let’s back up for a second here and look at all the reasons your husband, spouse or significant other might not want to support you in your business endeavor. There are three different scenarios I’ve observed over the years. I’ve heard it all. Every insult someone’s family has slung at them, every reason a spouse has argued against it, even husbands who won’t take care of their own children so their wife could work on her business. Every “my husband doesn’t support my business” statement comes from one of these three relationship dynamics:
- You do not have the control over your budget. Your spouse does because they are the breadwinner in the family.
- You do not have control of your budget, your spouse does because you have given them the authority over the family budget.
- Your spouse or significant other does not have control over it, they are just very opinionated about your decision.
Be aware that they are just relationship dynamics. They are all based on your personal beliefs as a couple and how you communicate with each other. MOST of these unsupportive spouses just need better communication or you both need to compromise.
I talked to my husband about this article before I started writing it. I had just finished talking to a friend who told me she couldn’t start switch companies because her husband was making her sell off her old inventory from her current company before she joins another. She wasn’t allowed to join another until she sold everything off. “ALLOWED” people, allowed is what she said. I agree that selling-off inventory to pay for the next adventure is actually a good idea…but the language is what stuck out to me.
Now, of course, this rubs me the wrong way. I never ask for permission for anything. Neither does my husband for that matter. We tell each other what we want to do and then we do it. Communication is key here and he was very quick to point that out.
“We communicate and compromise daily. Depends on what we want to accomplish. Who am I to tell you, that you’re not allowed to do something you want to do. Does it make you happy? Then, cool, do it….as long as it doesn’t drain our savings.”
– Mr. Christensen
We have separate projects, hobbies and money making endeavors. I ask for opinions and his point of view…but never permission. We are equals. We manage the money together… he creates the budget though.
With that in mind let’s look at the first scenario ” Your spouse is the breadwinner and doesn’t want you to spend the money” Start asking questions, start the dialog about how important this is to you. How it makes you feel when you’re working on it. Even if it doesn’t make a ton of money at first. Be aware that it is a lot of work upfront with small returns. Be bold and tell him that. You know the risk, but it’s a future possibility that could pan out to something big and you’re willing to work at it for the long term.
Create a business plan, let him read it (This is what I give my husband once a year. Not that I need to, but it makes him happy to see that I have a plan. Doesn’t matter what that plan is, just that I have one.) This problem is all about communicating more. Your spouse wants you to be happy. If you are happy selling something, then he needs to know that.
I was raised that the male figure in the home was the one in charge. I went into marriage thinking that’s how it was. My husband was going to just lead the way and control all the things.
Hey, guess what? That’s not the way it works out. My husband not only wasn’t raised that way but doesn’t have a leader bone in his body. I was miserable because I was waiting for him to make decisions… that he just won’t make apparently. I could clearly see the most logical answer and he couldn’t. I think on my feet and problem-solve naturally; he doesn’t. He is a deep thinker with lots of research time needed.
We talked. We talked a lot and figured us out. It worked! Communication is always the answer. If you want to be equals with your spouse, you gotta start talking.
Communicate. Talk. Maybe they have a past experience that is tainting their opinion on direct sales. I mean, who can blame them? There are so many awful examples of direct sellers who behave like wild hyenas, jumping on any small chance they see to sell you something. Vultures. Spam. It’s gross. So, I don’t blame anyone for thinking that everyone within the direct selling profession will be the same.
All of these problems are relationship-based and need to be talked about. These problems are symptoms of other issues that need to be talked over.
There is only ONE other way to convince them it’s a business:
Make the money.
Money talks. Money makes the disbelief evaporate. Numbers don’t lie. If you want your spouse to take your business seriously and not treat it like a hobby — than don’t treat it like a hobby and make the money and show them! You want him to stop insulting it? Sell your buns off, girl! Transfer that commission check to the family checking account. Pay bills with it. No joke, there is no other game changer than cold cash.
There is going to be someone who says “but Kristi, I can’t go out in the evening to do parties because he won’t watch the kids or let me hire the babysitter. What now?”
I think a man who won’t father his own children is deplorable. ESPECIALLY if he is with their mother and lives with them. It is NOT babysitting, it’s PARENTING. But I digress, that doesn’t answer the question; it means you gotta communicate some more with him.
My answer is to work your business some other way. Online mostly. Build a blog and an online community. Maybe a facebook group. Utilize pockets of time during the day to work smart and schedule posts and answer messages. You can make this work. I know you can.
Communicate and show him the money. That’s the whole story peeps. Now get out there and work it!