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The Life of an Entrepreneur's Wife

written by: John Garger•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 12/28/2010

Being the wife of an entrepreneur can be as difficult a task as starting up a business. It's good to learn what’s going through your husband’s head and what you can do to keep the peace to improve the chances that his business will be a success.

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    Long gone are the days when men worked and women stayed home. In fact, many male entrepreneurs are only able to start a business because they have an understanding wife who will largely support the family while the business grows. However, being the wife of an entrepreneur carries with it a special set of challenges that can have an influence on whether a husband’s business is a success or failure. Learn what it is like being the wife of an entrepreneur and how you can help make your husband’s business a success.

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    It’s Real Work

    Wife of an Entrepreneur One of the most frustrating parts of being an entrepreneur is surviving those lean years before the business takes off. Of course, many businesses never take off forcing the entrepreneur to give up and go back to working for someone else. This is one area when being the wife of an entrepreneur can be challenging.

    At the early stage of your husband’s entrepreneurial ventures, his paycheck is likely to be small and his business may be in the red for the first two to three years. Be careful not to judge his success as a businessperson by the size of his paycheck. If we were to judge how hard people work by the size of their paychecks, then we would have to conclude that CEOs must work millions of times harder than janitors. Remember that your husband is likely working much harder building a business in these early years than if he were working for someone else. No matter how much money be brings (or fails to bring) home, it’s real work.

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    Bread Winners

    It is a fact in our society, even today, that men are still seen as the breadwinners of the family no matter how much that isn’t true. It is likely that your husband feels bad or even guilty for not providing more for his family than he is. Although there does come a point in many entrepreneurs’ lives when they realize that they should just give up, constantly reminding your husband that maybe he should get a “real job" is likely to guarantee his failure as an entrepreneur.

    The best policy is to provide your husband with the kind of support you would want if you decided to start your own business. Help him celebrate the small victories even if they don’t result in a large payout. Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that it was just before they hit it big that they wanted to give up more than anything. Ensuring that your husband doesn’t feel guilty for his lack of a paycheck may be the psychological boost he needs to get him through those first few lean years.

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    Entrepreneurs tend to be different from most people. They see things others don’t see and sometimes make the seemingly impossible possible. It takes a lot of confidence to go into business for oneself and being the wife of an entrepreneur requires support. The more support an entrepreneur has around him or her, the more likely their entrepreneurial ventures will be successful. Entrepreneurs who are also husbands have additional pressures to succeed in order to fulfill their need to provide well for their family. Support is the key to your husband’s entrepreneurial success.