So you remembered Valentine’s Day?
It’d be pretty hard not to; unless, of course, you avoided all forms of commercial media over the last couple of weeks.
But you’re right, you should be patting yourself on the back. For many of us small and micro business owners, we can become so absorbed that we barely notice when we need to eat, let alone registering something like Valentine’s Day. So, well done.
Having bumped up your credibility, beefed up your brownie points, and lifted your nose out of your business long enough to add a little romance to your life, what are you going to do now?
NO! I’m not talking about in the BUSINESS, I mean in your relationship!
And that’s the problem isn’t it? That’s why small business owners NEED those brownie points and often lots of help to build their Relationship Credibility.
No-one, including long-suffering life partners and families, doubt that it’s hard and time-consuming to own your own business, especially as a solo. Unfortunately, achieving sufficient income often means putting in the hours.
Have you ever heard the quote, “no-one ever died wishing they’d spent more time in the office”? It’s a powerful message!
Small business owners are a little like trapeze artists, walking a long distance on a fine tightrope. And sometimes we can forget that there’s no point to it all, if there’s no-one waiting there for you at the end of the day? VERY FEW partners will wait forever.
Think about it, and be honest here… At what score out of 10 would you put your partner’s frustration-with-your-business? Now go check with your partner and see how accurate your assessment was! And while you’re there, check if it’s increasing!
How have you handled that?
- Silently seethed at the sighs and eye-rolling (insert partner’s special “signs” here)?
- Sniped or angrily abused your partner at his/her “lack of understanding”?
- Withdrawn further into the office to “bury your head” in the books (or should that be sand)?
- Taken responsibility for your decisions and made time to sit down and hear her/his grievances, ask for forgiveness, and request assistance to negotiate a more considerate and loving agreement between you on your contributions to relationship and family?
It’s my guess there’s not too many who’ve taken that last path!
It doesn’t matter if you have or haven’t been proactive up till now. Because NOW is the time that has popped up in front of you, slipping in just ahead of TOO LATE!
Like all good business owners, you’re now looking for a solution, aren’t you?
Well whatever the solution, you’ve got to make some time. And seeing none of us can “make” time, that just means you have to choose to sacrifice some business time/mates’ time and reallocate it to your partner. BELIEVE me, it’s definitely a higher priority than that to-do list!
So what are you going to actually DO?
Ideally have that conversation! But if that’s too big a step then here’s a few suggestions:
- Frequently recognise and acknowledge in simple clear messages your partner’s love and support and generosity of spirit.
- Spend your driving time listening to Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages. That will help you make sure your messages of love and affection hit the target with a laser-like quality, maximising impact and giving you more benefit for the time and effort you invest! (I wouldn’t want to say “more bang for your buck” in case you misinterpreted me!)
- Perhaps it’s time to do a relationship audit together and have a look at how satisfied each of you are. It’s a great way of discovering how much work you’ll both need to do to get the relationship back on track. Of course it’s not a time for either to throw blame around though!
- Consider how much respect and goodwill are part of your loving relationship. Are either of you sucking up your share and not replenishing the tank?
- Have you ever actually sat down with your partner (maybe over dinner or a coffee/glass of wine on the patio) and talked about the values and priorities you each hold most dear?
- Take some positive actions to teach your clients / employees/ suppliers you are not indispensable. It shouldn’t be too hard. After all you taught them how to treat you in the current situation. Yes you did, when you didn’t say no and have clear boundaries about when is work and when is family time! SO get clear on your boundaries and introduce some new systems and be vigilant about maintaining those boundaries. You’ll be astounded how much time it will free up! If your clients can’t cope then then sack them! Their money is not worth the cost and risk to your relationship life that you are currently paying!
Keep in touch and let me know how you go!
When not guest writing for businesses like the lovely Caylie’s, Chris Owen of Pink Apple is helping divorcees, and the newly-recoupled, build their skills and confidence at Relating Better and avoiding the pain of relationship breakdown again!
You can test your Relationship Mojo here and receive a simple eBook Your Relationship: From Mojo to Marvellous to help you start making changes to any problem areas the Mojo Test might highlight.