Spouses contribute to success

Since Valentine’s Day is approaching this weekend, I figured this is a good time to talk about the role a spouse plays in running a successful business.  Do you need a spouse to be successful?  No.  But, everyone needs support.  And those of us who are married really need support from our spouses.  I am blessed to be married to an incredibly supportive man.

When my husband and I met, I was 14 and he was 16.  Our dreams began to grow together.  By the time I was out of high school, he knew my dream was to pursue writing full-time.  We married when I was 20 and only halfway through college.  His support began while I finished first my undergraduate and then graduate degrees in journalism.  He understood when I needed to study rather than go see a movie.  He took care of us working full-time and providing health insurance.  He encouraged me to stick with it when I got tired.  I could have finished college without his emotional support, but it would have been so very difficult.

After graduate school when I felt led to start my own writing business, he was the first in line to support me.  I remember telling him what I wanted to do.  He basically asked why I had taken so long to do this.  He knew my passions.  He even supported my decision to freelance full-time, knowing that I would have sporadic (and menial!) income in the beginning.

In the early years, he encouraged me to keep sending my work out.  He listened to me bemoan the fact that I may never get another paying gig again.  (Writers struggle with self-confidence!)  He was my sounding board for ideas.  He listened when I was bursting with new information I had learned for an article, even when he wasn’t all that interested in the subject matter.  He challenged me to set goals and work to achieve them.

As my career got more established, he would often sit and talk with me to assess where my career was going.  I had a few times where I undertook work that didn’t pan out.  He would gently encourage me to let a client go when it just wasn’t working.

These days, he still does all of those things.  He challenges me to be greater.  He supports me in my work.  He listens when I tell him my latest research that I’m excited about.  He gives me advice, yet isn’t pushy.  He is my biggest cheerleader and greatest fan.

I would say without a doubt that I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing now, living my dream, without the wonderful man to whom I’m married.

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