Support From Your Spouse or Partner


So you have a great idea that you want to get started on immediately. You tell your spouse and they immediately get defensive. You get the impression that they think your idea sucks. What do you do?

A lot of it has to do with the way in which you present your idea. Monica, while performing her nightly “getting ready for bed” ritual said “I’m going to start making toner and sell it”. My immediate response was “What does printer ink have to do with our business?” Once she told me that she wasn’t referring to printer ink, my questions had more to do with what toner actually is. I hadn’t a clue.

That night, I think she went to bed thinking that I didn’t support her idea and I thought it was stupid. The truth is that I didn’t understand her idea and felt stupid for being clueless.

About a week later she reopened the discussion with an explanation of what toner is, what it is used for, and why it would be popular with our customers. Once I understood that, I could start processing the idea and ask questions such as

“What is the cost of production?”

“Do we need new or additional packaging?”

“How much will it be sold for?”

“Does it require an entire new process to make or will it fit within our existing processes?”

These questions are meant to challenge a new idea. Not just hers, but mine as well. When you come up with a new idea, you have had an opportunity to think about it and get excited about it. You have an unfair advantage in being able to process the idea’s possibilities when you surprise your spouse with this great new idea. Their reaction can often be taken as dislike for your idea.

Monica understands how I think. Instead of just springing an idea on me, she introduces the idea and then lets me process it for a day or two. She knows that I haven’t forgotten about it, but lets the idea simmer until I’ve had an opportunity to think through the issues that I can identify.

I do the same for her. I am notorious for having an idea that is half-baked and then buying supplies to that idea only to see them languish by the wayside. I was exploring making accessories for e-cigarettes. This is a huge, but specialized, market. It also has absolutely nothing to do with our core business and some of the stuff I bought for the idea is sitting right here next to me never to be used. It was only about $100, but that could cover a market fee or two.

So when you have a new idea, present it to your spouse the way that they need in order to get on board with the idea. It helps them be able to support you by understanding the idea but it also slows you down a bit to prevent a bad idea from moving forward.

Oh, Monica is introducing toner now and should be shipping by the end of the week! You can find it here.


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