Are you Losing Confidence in Your Family Run Business?

Talk about these 2 things with your Spouse. 

Sometimes for couples in business, there is a perception of lack of success. Despite achievement in other areas, couples experience fear, uncertainty, doubt. Perhaps it's because the business isn’t getting the desired financial results. Maybe its clients who giving negative feedback. Or, perhaps couples cant get away for some much needed down time.

For many spouses in business, this lack of confidence often begins to show up in negative ways in our relationship with our spouse. We may start to shut down and not communicate how we are feeling. Perhaps we keep talking about our fears when our spouse just wants a break from business talk. Or, we become angry or even critical of each other.   

Sadly, we treat our most important person in the world to us in ways that we are not proud of.

I know exactly what that’s like, because I’ve done it.

Case in point,  January 2016,  when we had a staffing tsunami in our insurance brokerage. Within a few weeks, virtually every member of our 8 person team resigned due to personal trauma; accidents, serious illness, a death in the immediate family, marital problems. As a result we had a nearly complete staffing turn over within a few short months.   

It was a roller coaster of emotions; empathy for our team members, while trying to take care of thousands of clients. At times, I felt that this was too much for Douglas and I to handle, both as a business, and as a couple. Frankly, we were ready to give up. We had lost a lot of confidence in our business and it was impacting our relationship in a negative way. I was stuck in a fear pattern and wanted to keep talking about my worries;  Douglas just wanted a break from 24/7 business discussion.

A few months later we decided to go to a Business Mastery event in Las Vegas with Tony Robbins. It was intense, as Tony is, and transformational. We had so many aha moments, especially after Douglas had a one on one conversation with Tony in front of thousands of other business owners. I still get chills when I remember that experience. A key takeaway from the event is it reminded us of the importance of  meaningful communication.  

So, on the plane back, we decided to have an essential conversation to get our business back on track.  

Our conversation was focussed on two key topics; 

  • Why are we in this business together? We needed to regroup and recommit to our why of being a couple in business together. For us, we both knew we had an inner capacity to handle challenging situations, that we wanted to continue to provide outstanding value to our clients and to our team,  and it was up to us to make the decision to  work together towards overcoming this situation, and saying “We succeeded despite the odds!”    

  • How does this business act as a vehicle for our life together? We needed to remember that our business was not our life, but rather the way we had chosen to support life’s journey and our relationship. We realized that the work we were doing allowed us to use our capabilities and skills to help others and to have  a great lifestyle.


After that conversation, we were both able to reset our confidence, recommit to our business vision, and to move forward as better leaders.

Next time you’re struggling with fears, uncertainty and doubt, remember it's completely normal. Try taking a time out together to discuss your business why and how it supports your relationship as a couple.    


Author: Anthea Mumby is a Consultant that specialized in Family Business Ownership, Vision, and Problem Solving.


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