20 Things Learned: Partner Buy-In

Lesson 3: You must have the support of your partner or family if you want to succeed in business.

If you decide you are serious about setting up a VA practice, and you fully understand what’s involved and that this is not a hobby or a ‘side hustle’, then you must have the support of your partner or family. Without it you will not succeed.

You need partner buy-in

Many partners tend to think being a VA is a hobby. That’s where your education starts: at home. Make sure family and friends understand you are a legitimate business owner and you need their help. This is especially important if you have children. As a business owner you will have less time to devote to your family duties especially in the early stages and you need buy-in from your partner if it’s going to work. That means they will need to help out more with domestic chores, child care responsibilities and so on. I’ve seen some potentially good VAs fold in the first couple of years because partners just did not understand they were running a business – just like a bricks and mortar store for example. Just because it’s done from home – or in my case a cupboard in the loungeroom – yes I actually did get started working from a cupboard in the loungeroom – doesn’t make it any less a business.

You will also need buy-in because there may be a reduction in your income. Talk about what you will do and how you will handle this change to your circumstances. You might go part-time at work – or job share a few days a week like I did – so you can spend some time working on building your business but still have some income coming in. That takes some of the pressure off your partner. If your partner is used to you having a full-time income this will be a big change so they need to be on board.  

Children will need to be aware that you may not be available every second of every day for them – so manage your time and if they are older, negotiation. Speak to them about how you need a couple of hours to sort this work out but you will then be available to spend time with them on things they want to do. This teaches them you are not going to be there all the time but that they are still important and that you still value the time you spend with them. 

©Lyn Prowse-Bishop – www.execstress.com

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