Guys: whatever your background or work situation, there’s a good chance you’ve learned a lot about “how things work.” Are you in the business world? Run your own business? Do a lot of reading? Whatever the origin, you probably have some knowledge or skillset that can help in direct sales.
I had a conversation with some friends through the direct sales business and we all agreed: when it comes to relationships, couples may not exactly be “opposites” but there is often a big difference in their strengths. That goes for life and business. When you start looking into helping, the first thing you should probably do is ask how she would like you to help. Chances are good that she’s been waiting on you to do just that.
Whatever she says, write that down. Depending on your wife’s style, she may be pretty direct about what she needs or she may be as vague as she can be. She may be a little apprehensive about you getting involved, and that’s ok. If she seems apprehensive or won’t give you concrete direction, then here are a few things to consider:
Take it kind of slow and make sure you aren’t pushy.
A lot of guys are very controlling (but none of them admit it). Be a little introspective and consider how you go about things. Your main job is to be supportive. Not to run her business for her or even tell her what to do. It is her business after all.
Ask her questions about her business and direction.
Maybe she just doesn’t know how you can help or what she needs. Again, this is a point where you need to focus on being supportive. Show her you care and are interested. Start asking questions about her business. How it runs and how she runs it for herself. In medicine we have this little oath we take that features prominently “First, do no harm…” Good advice for anyone.
What areas seem to be struggles for her. Think about how you can help in these areas. Again, don’t run her over, but look at some ways you can help and start conversations with her. One thing I love doing with Holley is problem solving together when she asks for help.
Identify her strengths and yours.
This is probably a good thing to contemplate on your own and then have a good healthy conversation about with your wife. You definitely want to find those areas where your strengths match her weaknesses. If your strengths are the same areas as her strengths, defer to her judgement whenever possible. But definitely maximize both party’s strengths.
Use your ingenuity.
If your area of business experience meshes well with her needs in her business and she’s receptive, then go for it! There’s a good chance you can work together and come up with great ideas that will help her business thrive.
Remember, this is her business.
You WANT it to be her business. Her business being successful is going to promote her self-esteem, and that’s a great thing for any woman. You getting involved in a helpful way will help boost her opinion of you as well, most likely. But this won’t happen if you run over her. It’s only going to happen if you work with her how she needs and she wants. So be cautious. We all know guys who get started with something and then they take it over. That won’t boost her ego or her opinion of you. It’s more likely to be demoralizing. So always make sure you defer to her on decisions. Have positive discussions. Show her that she is your first concern, not your idea. That will help protect your relationship, which is, after all, the most important thing you have going for you.
Girls: How do you wish your husband would help you with your business?
Guys: How did you (or how do you plan to) dip your toes in the water of helping in her business?