Your new venture will take significant time and resources to launch and could involve financial risk. While you are out pursuing your dream, your actions will affect the people around you. Before jumping in, make sure to bring your family on board By Scott Duffy
When you’re an entrepreneur, success is never easy and it never happens overnight. If you are in a relationship, it is never a one-person effort. You expect your spouse or significant other to support you and hop on the entrepreneurial roller coaster ride with you.
During the launch, your business will be your first priority. This doesn’t mean you love your family and friends any less. It does mean that during this period, your business will need to come first. You need to ask yourself: How much time will you need to put into this new project? Then, discuss with them and bring your family on board with important time matters involved.
Once you’ve come to terms with the time involved, it is crucial that you put something in place that carves out a regular and consistent time to spend with your loved one(s). The way you spell love in a relationship with an entrepreneur is T-I-M-E. That’s why I make it a point to get childcare every Saturday and carve out time to have lunch together with my wife. I am usually relaxed because I’m out of the office. Things that seemed urgent during the week don’t matter. I get a chance to tell her what’s going on and get her feedback. Having this exchange doesn’t take much time, but you need to do it and do it consistently.
Keep in mind that some people – possibly you and your spouse, come from traditional families where business stability – nine-to-five jobs and a weekly paycheck, is the rule. For people brought up in such circumstances, the seesaw of launching and entrepreneurship may be hard to handle.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to calibrate your communication strategy to suit your life partner. Do you talk about business once a day or once a week? If things are tough, do you come home and share everything before bed or wait until the end of the week to get it all out? Come to an understanding that works for both of you and respect it. How you handle the pressures of your business can either kill or strengthen your relationship.
How much financial risk are you willing to take? Would you rather take less financial risk and be on the same page as your spouse, or take on more risk and create a problem at home? If you are launching a new business, the odds are you are bootstrapping, that is, using your own money. You and your spouse need to agree upon how much you’re willing to put aside and put at risk in pursuit of your dream. You need to start on the same page.
One of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur is preparing your spouse, significant other and family about the challenges you will face. By figuring out how to be in alignment with regard to how much both sides are willing to risk, you can create a workable strategy.
If you are an entrepreneur in a relationship, it is never a one-person effort. You expect your spouse or significant other to support you and help you along the way. But, spouses and family members have a tough job and can have their doubts.
One of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur is preparing your spouse, significant other, and/or family members about the challenges you will face and make sure you all agree to take on the time and risk involved. Here are 3 matters you should discuss with your family members to ensure you have their support:
As you try to get your venture off the ground, it will be your first priority. Make sure you bring your family on board and they understand that this doesn’t mean you love them any less. It does mean, however, that your family may temporarily have to take a backseat to business concerns. You should anticipate how much time launching your business will demand of you, and earnestly discuss these time commitments with family members. Though matters of business will have to come first in the launch phase, it is crucial that you set aside time to spend with your loved ones.
For some people and in some relationships, holding down a nine-to-five job and earning a weekly or bi-weekly paycheck is expected. For these people, the uncertainties of launching a small business may be difficult to handle. To compensate for this, commit yourself to communicate openly and honestly with your loved ones and significant other. Work to understand what their expectations are, and once you know them, work hard to respect them. How you handle the competing pressures of your business life and your personal life can either kill or strengthen your relationships.
How much financial risk are you willing to take? If you are launching a new business, odds are you are dipping into your own savings to get yourself off the ground. You and your spouse need to agree upon how much you’re willing to put at risk in pursuit of your dream.
You’ve thought up a unique solution to a real world problem, assembled a crack team of professionals to help you, and now need to know how to pitch investors your idea to potential investors. What you need is a short, pre-prepared speech – call it an elevator pitch – that explains your idea clearly and succinctly.
Conventional wisdom will have you believe that you are selling a product, company, or service to your potential investors. Those are all part of the equation, but first and foremost, you’re selling yourself. People invest in people.
It isn’t as much the product or service that potential investors are basing their decisions on – it’s you. First impressions are everything, so don’t be afraid to let your passion, charisma, and unique personality shine through. Be the sincerest version of yourself. When you meet with potential investors, you want them to think, “this is someone I want to do business with.”
Know exactly what you want to achieve. Do you want to take your product to market in 30 days? Do you want to release a new product that extends your footprint? Do you want to raise startup capital for a big idea? Whatever it might be, define for yourself what needs to be done in order to achieve that goal, and be prepared to say so.
At the end of your elevator pitch, design an “ask” for your potential investor. The goal here is to get your potential investor to engage with your idea. Your “ask” can be as simple as asking whether the person knows someone who would benefit from these services. Understand that you’re not asking for their business – you’re simply encouraging your investor to engage with you and your idea.
Above all else, practice makes perfect. You may have written the best elevator pitch in the world, but it will still fall flat unless you practice it religiously. The more you practice, the clearer and more powerful you and your idea becomes. Once you’ve perfected your elevator pitch, you’ll be able to pull it out at a moment’s notice – whether it be during an investor meeting, or while networking with strangers.