Posted in Consulting

Being self-employed without the support of your better half or significant other


As a consultant, when someone comes to me with the burning desire and a business plan, to go into business for himself or herself, before checking the quality of that business plan, the question I usually ask of this eager client is: do you have the support and blessing of your family?
I am taking this opportunity to share with some of you readers, a discussion that some LinkedIn members were having about self-employment. It involved this middle-aged man. A 53 year old Black male who really got my attention. Going into business for himself was not his first rodeo. This was his third venture. Nonetheless, he felt some level of ambiguity. The forces were against him. In his own words, ‘I was being setup to fail, since I didn’t have the support of my woman.’ His first business venture entailed a home health care agency in Southern California that offers geriatric care and temporary staffing. He had the full support of his woman then. A relationship that lasted 7 wonderful years. This home health care ageny was able to secure $25,000 in private investments using primarily the network of his significant other as the vehicle. His second business venture was launched together with a partner. This business concept focused on finding a niche market for temp workers in the Information Technology industry. The mother of his 2 children believed so much in the idea that she poured $20,000 of her own money into the startup. In just 5 years, the board members made the decision to break up the group. His woman received the principal and a $60,000 return on her investment, a few months right before the Great Recession of 2008. Serendipity or perfect timing? In spite of the level of financial success enjoyed by this couple, their loving relationship, however, didn’t survive the test of time. They were able to stay friends and good parents to their 2 daughters. How the table has turned when that same man met this passionate woman of East African descent, 7 years after his last relationship. Her emphasis as an immigrant living in the US, was solely on financial security. That’s understandable. ‘But it put a damper on things and dimmed my energy as a man and risk taker,’ wrote that man on LinkedIn. Consequently, it was never a good time to take risks. That 53 year old Black man finally put his LinkedIn membership to good use and shared his predicament with other members in the form of a conversation. He wanted to know whether it was still possible for him to pull it off – i.e. start his own business. Enclosed, please find the paragraph that he wrote on the LinkedIn discussion describing his situation and his desire to work for himself. ‘It’s nerve wracking when you don’t have the full support of the woman you love. Her full support is so critical because self-employment is for the most part based on a shared vision that derives directly from good business ideas, financial backing, and family support.’ This concept promised to supply the high demand of prospects and turn them into customers. Unfortunately, self-employment does NOT offer “financial security” right off the bat. But the on-going process of putting together the right team with the right expertise in any growing market is sure to pay off and generate a profit.

So, what do you think? Is it possible to start your own business without the support of your significant other? Please share your thoughts on the subject …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s