“That’s it, I’m done. Screw you and your business!”
This is what I walked into today when I went on-site to visit a new client. As you can imagine, it wasn’t the usual offer of coffee and a comfy chair. No, it was quite the opposite.
What I walked into was a red-faced, eye-twitching wife, steam spiralling from her ears – all up in her petrified husband’s face.
Rewind three years…
Hubby starts a business; his family buys into the dream. Hubby ropes wifey into the super easy task of ‘keeping the books’. Wifey wants to be supportive, so she agrees. Even though she has no idea what the heck she’s supposed to do with her new-found, unpaid ‘job’.
Just like that, she’s employed by a demanding, unappreciative boss (her husband), with little-to-no training. For less than minimum pay. Good times.
But she hangs in there because she knows how important this family business is to her husband. She wants to be supportive…and all that.
Over the next three years…
Things get tough.
Cash flow suffers.
Customers come and go.
Hubby doesn’t know what to do. He’s stressed. The kind of stress fellow small business owners can understand.
The business isn’t making money, and he won’t close the failing business. But he doesn’t want to tell anyone because that would make him a failure, right?
He needs someone to offload on, an outlet. Who else better than wifey? I mean… she does the books and isn’t keeping cash flow consistent. If he blames her, his family and friends don’t need to know about his struggle.
Wifey takes it for a while…
Yep, she should have completed the bookwork to a higher standard.
Sure, she could have kept on top of supplier payments before they got too far behind.
True, she should have been tracking their business performance.
Between her own job, school pickups, kids’ homework, sports, appointments, housework, and managing to get in the shower each day…when?
The tension builds as they both try and wrangle this monster of a business they’ve worked so damn hard to create. The two of them, silently working through it together, and resenting each other more and more each day…
Today is the day that wifey has had enough.
She can’t go another day with this pressure on her shoulders. She wants to fire the worst boss in history and get her life back. So she calls Stacey at Save My Books, declaring: “my husband’s business is ruining our marriage”.
Sounds dramatic, right?
Here’s something I know for sure after working with couples in business for over 20 years. The distinction between business and personal life becomes extremely foggy when you’re both trying your hardest to keep it all together.
Let’s face it, working with your spouse can be hard. Especially when you’re expected to be friends with them outside of work. That’s why, today, I happily onboarded a lovely couple to my bookkeeping and business coaching services. A couple that’s undoubtedly now drinking beer on their front veranda, watching the kids play on the lawn, and finally having a conversation that doesn’t revolve around business finances.
Your marriage doesn’t need to be a business transaction
From today onwards, the team at Save My Books will ‘keep the books’. Hubby can go forth fixing stuff, and wifey can return to her life. Simples.
If you’re finding yourself in this same tricky dynamic at home, we get it. We can help you get back to enjoying your family life.
Reach out while you’re here, and book an obligation-free chat. Trust me, you have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain – I’ve seen it!