Ask Eddie – It’s Men Like Us
It’s men like us who can make it so difficult for our wives to succeed in launching a new business. Just let that sit for a moment before I explain.
Let me use people like me, who have selected sales or sales management as their chosen profession as an example.
Sure, we have delivered some great results for companies over the years. We understand sales and sales budgets and the associated pressures we face. We don’t really enjoy July 1st or January 1st, because those dates represent a new financial year and our sales to date sit at zero dollars.
So how does this correlate with what our wives are facing when they launch their new business? Not much really when you think about it, because too often they are bootstrapping the lot on a shoestring.
This is why. When we negotiate our roles, it goes a little like this.
- Eddie, we have agreed to pay you your asking salary, when can you start?
- Eddie, would you like us to provide a car, or would you prefer an allowance?
- Eddie, do you have a preference with whom you fly or which hotel chain you prefer?
- Eddie, what sort of cost-to-sales budget do you think you will need to reach that sales budget we agreed on?
- By the way, we prefer you use AMEX or your expense account. Is that OK with you Eddie?’
I think you know where this is going by now. If our wives are in business for the first time, they have none of that and many of us just don’t see it. I know I didn’t initially.
This is the way it often goes with professional men. We will part with our toys and trinkets to help to fund the first house, on an unwritten promise that we will re-acquire these at a later date.
Our wives will, more often than not, put their careers on hold whilst the children are born and raised to a point where they re-enter the workforce, usually at a disadvantaged position. Sound familiar?
By the time their forties and fifties roll around, many women will decide they are sufficiently qualified and experienced to go into business and enjoy a life they feel they deserve. No argument there.
The funds to do this, however, can be a bone of contention. That’s because the money required to launch and get the business profitable will usually come from savings, a loan may be, superannuation, or a savings account that was held to buy back that boat, GT Falcon, or whatever was parted with… way back when.
So watching our boats, cars, motorbikes and other expensive hobbies again disappear into the sunset is a common cause of disagreement. It puts undue pressure on the person building a business to make it profitable, all wrapped up together within an unrealistic time frame to deliver..
We can easily lose sight of the fact that this is being built for our own secure future. I know I did.
That’s the problem in a nutshell. It wasn’t until I got my head around that fact and became committed to the whole journey, that our business grew. Notice I now say ‘our’ business. I couldn’t say that for a long time because, in truth, I didn’t deserve to.
Over the coming weeks, I am going to delve into the journey I have taken in support of my wife who launched her business nearly 20 years ago, a business with a vision that has provided a very positive outcome for both myself and our family.
My horizon now reveals a very different landscape.
Hats off to all the other Eddies out there who share in the vision of what can be achieved.