When your spouse and age-appropriate children are included in major decisions that will affect not only you but the entire family, communication and clarity is vital. Do you see yourself in any of these scenarios?
- So you’ve decided to leave your job after 15 years and start your own business. You dive in and take a chance. That’s wonderful!
- Your children are teens and now it’s time for you to return to college and get your degree. You just submitted application and payment online. Awesome!
- You know that God is leading you to step up and take on a full-time leadership role at your local church. You’re an empty nester and you and your spouse can cut down on your travel and life-plans so you can accept this position. Wonderful!
- Owning your own business has always been a hidden desire and now you have the opportunity to invest in a small space with a partner. You know it’s the right fit so you go for it! Great!
- You have 3 beautiful children and you absolutely want a 4th child before you reach a certain age so you’ve decided that the time is now for you and your hubby to go for number 4! Awesome!
- You successfully raised your children as a single Mom for 12 years. Your children are in middle school and one is preparing for high school. A great opportunity has presented itself and it will mean you and your family have to move. You are going to say yes to this opportunity because you know it’s right for you and the children. You know they will love the idea of moving. Great!
All of the examples above are wonderful except something is missing — communication with those who will also be affected by those decisions. When it’s more than just one person major decisions work best if the family is included in the process.
For the sake of confidentiality I’ll call her Mary. A few years ago Mary reached out to me. She had a wonderful online ministry blog and she worked a part-time job. She was married with two school aged children. She loved her family very much. She had desired for several years to quit her part-time job and start her own business based on the focus of her online ministry. She got involved with a group that supported her efforts. She made cosmetic changes to the face of her ministry and went through the process to turn her .org to a .com. She added volunteer staff and within 5 months she was up and running as a business.
Two months later she emailed me for help. She was arguing with her husband and the children were unhappy. The business required a lot of her time and a hefty junk of their money. Like any business, it’s going to take time and money to build. She was upset and frustrated. As I read the email the first question that came to mind was, Did she and her husband discuss (at length) what it was going to take to do her business? I gave her my phone number and we spoke via phone. I asked her the question — Mary, did you and your husband discuss in detail what it was going to take to do your business? Silence. A few moments later she said, “Well, yes, I mean, we did but I didn’t know it was going to be like this…” As I listened, I then asked, Did you both agree for you to quit your part-time job? “Not really.” You can already see what the unfortunate problem was in this example. Mary and her husband needed to sit down and have a real good talk about what it was going to REALLY take for her to do that business.
I coached her through a series of areas that once addressed, gave them a blueprint or strategy to work from and some clear focused goals to reach toward. Here’s just a few below:
Prayer to be certain this is what she really wants to do and is it something that will work for the family unit
Time needed for family and personal life
How much time it will take to work the business
Expenses and how it would be affected by the business
Potential changes in schedules especially as it would relate to the children and spousal time
Reducing expenses wherever necessary
Ways to gain extra money while building the business
Addressing some additional potential problems upfront so that they can be prepared
And much more!
I’m happy to report that after working with Mary it took some time and work but she committed to doing what was needed to get her situation worked through for herself, her family and what became the family business. I admit that I was overjoyed with them when they began to see progress! I genuinely care about the people God gives me to serve.
We can’t just have a good idea and leap without taking all matters into consideration as best we can. I call it being practical. Excitement and desire is great. Knowing God has purposed you to do something specific is wonderful, but timing and preparation is vital and with that comes communication with your spouse and depending on the ages of the children, having a conversation with them is important as well. Involve the whole family unit so that all the concerns, questions and matters of importance can be addressed in advance. It doesn’t mean something won’t come up but you’ll be better prepared to handle it as a family.
How can you avoid family problems when making major decisions? Say, It’s time to talk family. Need help with how to handle those discussions? Or perhaps you’re in the midst of a situation and need help with how to get unstuck or navigate your way out of it successfully? As a caring, experienced coach, I’d love to help you. Contact me HERE and let’s talk.
Ready to support you,