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Five Ways Starting a Business Can Affect Your Marriage

Starting your own business can change your life in many ways for the better, but potentially also in some ways for the worse. The lack of stability compared to a 9-to-5 job can lead to new stresses, including those on your existing relationships. These are five ways starting a new business can affect your marriage, or really, your entire family.

  1. Lack of time – depending on what you were doing before, starting your own business will most likely take up a lot more time in your day than your previous job, upwards of 70 to 80 hours a week. That time has to come from other activities, and often, that’s time spent with the family – dinners after work, weekly tv shows watched together and board game nights along with other family stand-bys.
  2. Stress level – Time is one thing, stress is another. A salaried job working in an office five days a week has its share of negatives, but instability is not one of them. Taking the bold step of starting your own business can often put your entire financial future on the line, for both you and your family. It’s stressful to not know if and when you’ll be making money while bills are piling up and you have to worry about eventual college costs for children, and sometimes, especially when working at home that stress can come out on other family members if the entrepreneur isn't careful.
  3. Family disagreement about prospective success of the business – Starting a new business after a lifetime in the office is a bold step, and it’s hard for all but the most confident entrepreneurs to not occasionally second guess their decision. If the entrepreneur's family is not supportive, it can leave the business owner feeling discouraged. This is especially problematic as it will take every ounce of energy to get a successful business up and running.
  4. Working at home – for most people, starting a new business means, at least at first, working out of their homes before they have an office; some businesses work out of the home even when successful. The lack of barriers between working mode and home mode can be problematic for both the entrepreneur and his family. The entrepreneur needs to manage to concentrate on work even while so close to his family and other distractions and the family needs to learn to let the entrepreneur work undisturbed when it’s work time.
  5. Change of personality - starting one's own business may lead the entrepreneur to show new sides of his or her personality that his or her spouse has never seen before, and not necessarily for the better. Often, the same traits which are desirable in entrepreneurship, such as strong opinions and a certain amount of arrogance may be undesirable when brought into a personal relationship.

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