Lie#2: People who have successful businesses must have sacrificed their marriage & family life or compromised something, somewhere
Truth: Some may have. Some will and some do, and they will struggle in their personal life because of their decisions and actions (in the Bible its called sowing & reaping). However, that doesn’t have to be you. I don’t believe God would ever ask you to sacrifice your marriage or family for a business.
However, God designed all men to be providers and protectors. Their main instinct is to provide and protect you (their wife) and their babies. Some men were made to build businesses. For crying out loud, without them the rest of the world would be out of a job. Its just part of the contribution to this world God designed them personally for. The thing about building a business… is that it does take sacrifice. Sometimes it takes sacrifice of money. Sometimes it is sacrifice of time. Sometimes both. It depends on the nature of the business. To build any business you have to put in capital.
So as wives how should we view these sacrifices? I would propose a change of perspective; instead of viewing the hard work as a burden where there is sacrifice, view it as a “season” with an opportunity for growth. We all go through seasons in our lives where our time is required somewhere more than others. When you have a baby and you are getting up during the night for feedings… it’s a season. Eventually that baby grows up and with proper training, they will sleep through the night. When you are starting a business, you are in a season of building that business. In that season, there will be sacrifice, but if you have the right perspective and are focused on helping your husband build it. Staying positive rather than burdening him with whining and complaining. The season can be a blessing to your marriage, not a burden.
One thing that really helped me to embrace that this was a season was that Isaac created vision with me as a partner. I was his number one team mate for life, I was his wife and he treated me with enough respect to include me in this endeavor. Together we made goals for our future and he would ask me, are you in then, are we going to pursue this goal? Then he gave me a clear picture of what to expect while we were “building” towards that goal. Our overall goal was, “if we work hard now we won’t have to later.” Building the business right meant training up leaders. Spending the time now to really focus on developing leaders so that the business doesn’t “need” you to survive. This was a vision I could get behind! Now matter what kind of business you have… having a shared vision with boundaries and very realistic expectations is a key to success in building a stronger marriage, while building a business.
How do you keep positive when you husband is working such long hours?
When Isaac and I were engaged and building our District Portland Office we worked between 90-110 hours a week sometimes. We worked hard, but we were doing it together. It was a building season. That building season for us lasted a short 2 years. In the long scheme of life… what is 2 years? Two years to have developed leaders in the organization to be able to run the business and allow us to have more “balance.” Within those two years though… I wasn’t working in the office full time. After we got married, I got pregnant with our eldest daughter just 3 short months later. Being terribly ill with morning sickness, I couldn’t finish school, much less work in the office. So I did what I could to help behind the scenes. I trained receptionists, paid business bills, took care of organization of the office, filled paperwork, and brought meals to Isaac at work. I began really taking care of my man. We had team meetings and team night out every Wednesday night. I would go and hang out with our team, bring homemade treats. I became kind of like the “team mom.” Oh, how I loved my role. But don’t get me wrong, it was hard… Isaac was still working long hours and there were many days where I was sick and in bed puking… wishing he were there with me. There were nights I ate dinner and went to bed alone because he was out of town at a meeting or conference and we couldn’t afford for me to go with him. There were times I got frustrated and wished he would choose ME over the business. I wasn’t all in. I thought, “Why can’t he just get a job someplace else and work a normal schedule.” None of my friend’s husbands worked like Isaac. They couldn’t relate. Their husbands didn’t travel all the time and work crazy hours. Before I knew it, I found myself getting into that ugly comparing cycle that trap women fall into. It’s a trap from the enemy! That trap can destroy you, your marriage, and friendships. Steer clear from that trap ladies! You know what helped though. Doing what I could to help build the business, and take any burden off Isaac that I could to make his job go faster, easier, and be more productive. Then I focused on building my first business… my home and remembering that this was just a season.
Another aspect I have heard over the years is… “he must have sacrificed a lot to be that successful…” This does NOT have to be so. Yes we have made sacrifices in certain seasons, but we have not compromised our faith or what we felt called to do in this world. Isaac and I are believers in Jesus Christ and we believe He has created us for a purpose in this life, just as He has created you for a purpose. We have always felt honored that God has put us in a position of influence. Yes we worked hard to be were we are at today. Isaac working long hard hours, meant me working longer, hard hours as a mom & wife to a guy with a crazy work schedule. I remember making enchiladas at 10 pm at night for the staff as they were on their way over to our house for an “Emergency Meeting.” And yes this happened more than once! But I loved it! I really did… I loved that it meant my husband could be home instead away at the office and we could invite these, at the time young college guys, into our home for a meal.
If God is calling you to the duty of being a business owner and you are a Christian, doing right by your people, loving them, really putting into their lives to help them grow personally is such a high calling. It is a priveledge given by God to be loving lights to them. This aspect of doing our best to have integrity and love the people God has provided us to work with has been a huge catalyst for growth in our marriage over the years. Integrating business life with our personal life has blessed our business and our marriage more than words can describe.
I hope this post is encouraging and that you will jion me again next week as I share more about how to integrate business life with personal life! Blessings to you all, your families, and your businesses!