Your Spouse and Entrepreneurship with Patrick Kennedy
Happy Friday Feels, Tribe! How are you today? I hope you’ve all enjoyed another week of absolutely crushing your goals!
Today is an especially wonderful day for me (at least as I’m working on this episode) because it’s my anniversary with my husband Pat! So, to celebrate — and because I thought it was only fitting — I’ve brought Pat back on to the show today. I know you guys love it when Pat joins me, and today we’re talking about a lot of great stuff!
The main focus of our conversation today is this: How the heck can/should married people be entrepreneurs?! I want you guys to know that when we first got married, neither Pat nor I had any idea that I would end up starting a business. I was still running full steam ahead on my teaching career at the time!
Obviously, I went through a major life transformation, but you guys, Pat has been there for me every step of the way. He’s an incredible supporter and teammate, and I’m extremely grateful to have him in my corner all the time.
He is the perfect person to have on this show to tell all of you entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs out there how to communicate with your spouses and bring them on board with your vision for your business. It’s absolutely essential to have your partner by your side in any significant endeavor. I hope this episode inspires you and helps you and your spouse to get on the same page and celebrate each others’ achievements!
If you’re ready to learn how to communicate with your spouse, stop fighting about investing money in your business, and grow together as a team, read on!
My Story: From Teacher to Coach
You guys have heard a lot of my story before, but you’ve never heard it quite like this. As I said earlier, when Pat and I first got married, we had no clue what was coming for me. I was fully invested in my teaching career, and the thought of starting a business had never even crossed my mind.
In fact, when I first started to consider becoming a certified nutrition coach, it was really more for my benefit than anyone else’s. I’d dealt with an eating disorder and sought coaching myself, but I couldn’t find the right coach for me. So I decided to learn how to be a coach just so I could understand what the heck I was doing!
At the very beginning of that process, I found a program for aspiring coaches that I wanted to join. It would mean traveling to Vegas for the event, and the total would be about a $4000-$5000 investment. I remember being so unsure of what I was doing and still not even thinking that I wanted to be a coach, but I also remember that Pat was 100% on board.
“Because, you know, supporting you — it’s just part of my goal as your husband. Marrying you, being with you — my intention is to support you, your health, your dreams, … so that everything else is easy.” - Pat Kennedy
Pat fully supported me in that first decision, and he has supported me in every decision since.
Well, except for that time when I invested $8000 in myself. I put $8000 I didn’t have on a credit card to pay for a coach I knew I needed to work with, and I was so scared I didn’t even tell Pat how much I spent.
But guess what? He knew I’d spent a lot of money. He knew I needed to invest in myself. In fact, he even thought it was a little funny — he was just waiting for me to tell him how much money I’d spent (which I eventually did … after I’d paid off half of it!).
Bottom line: Pat knew I needed his support, and he gave it unconditionally. A HUGE part of why I’ve been able to have so much success is because Pat has stood by my side and held my hand these last three years. I am so grateful for him!
Let’s Talk About Money: Get Underneath “We Can’t Afford It”
Even though I’ve had to make significant financial investments in my business — in the last year, I’ve invested about $50,000 in myself — Pat has stood by me. But for many aspiring entrepreneurs (I call them “wantrepreneurs”), getting that support is not so easy.
How many of you have ever talked to your spouse about investing in yourself or your business only to have the final word be “we can’t afford it”? I hear this all the time from my clients — women call me in tears because their husbands simply refuse to agree to invest a certain amount of money in their visions for their businesses.
Pat has an interesting perspective on this that I think is so helpful and so true. For Pat, investing financially in me and my career has always been a no-brainer because he fully understands why I do what I do. That understanding is absolutely key to his support of me.
“I think a big [reason I was able to support you], you touched on it, … was me trying to understand your business more. And I think … that’s a really big problem. That is an underlying problem that isn’t always out there for an entrepreneur or somebody who’s aspiring to be an entrepreneur with their spouse. Because like you said, the spouse is going to say, ‘no’ because of money. … I think that’s an excuse because they’re unsure. They don’t … know what your business is or what the business model is or how you’re going to monetize it …” - Pat Kennedy
If your spouse tells you, “we can’t afford it” or “we don’t have the money right now,” it’s time to go a little deeper. Chances are they just don’t understand your business. If they don’t understand what you’re trying to do and they don’t see that it will bring in new streams of revenue, of course, they’ll be hesitant to invest money in it! But if you can explain to them the market you’re getting into and your full plan to create wealth and success, they’ll be much more likely to agree to invest with you.
I know it can be difficult to get that buy-in from your spouse, but it’s so necessary. You can’t continue to neglect your dreams because your spouse says you can’t afford it, but you also can’t go directly against them and start spending money all by yourself. Have a conversation with your spouse and really get to the bottom of their insecurity about investing in your financially. If you can show them you’re prepared to build a successful business, they’ll want to support you.
The Couple That Grows Together…
In the last three years, I have undergone major growth in my life. I’ve transformed from being a school teacher with a side hustle to a full-on boss babe who’s ready to take on the world. But here’s the critical thing: Pat has grown with me.
From the beginning of our marriage, Pat and I have been committed to growing together. And I cannot emphasize this enough — that aspect of our relationship is essential. It’s essential because we are a team.
And don’t get me wrong — Pat and I still do our own things. We still have to grow as individuals. We read our own books, listen to our own podcasts, and invest in other things just for ourselves. But as we’re doing all that self-development and growing as individuals, we continue to grow together.
When one partner in a marriage is making strides toward their own goals, though, it can create tension. Sometimes there’s a fear that when one team member grows and the other doesn’t grow or doesn’t grow in the same direction, the two people will end up growing apart instead of together. Many married people have a lot of fear around that issue — and no wonder, it’s a tough one.
But bottom line: it still comes down to communication. It comes down to communication when you and your spouse disagree over financial investments, and it comes down to communication in pretty much every other area too.
“... If you’re not getting the support, then you do need to look at why they don’t support you. … Ask those questions. … Frame things in a way [like], ‘This is what makes me happy, and I really would like for you to support me. … What can I do to help you support me?’ And start to try to ask some of those leading questions that [are] going to get your spouse to open up. And that might give you more insight as to what their true feelings are, what their true fears are about you pursuing your dreams and trying to go after this goal.” - Pat Kennedy
You and your spouse are a team. And teams have to communicate. Period, end of sentence. If you’re serious about your entrepreneurial dream, it is worth it to have those difficult conversations with your spouse! Sit down and be completely honest with one another about why you’re experiencing fear or stress and about your business goals and work towards greater understanding and compromise.
Okay, We’ve Got to Dash Off to Our Dinner Reservations. But Before We Go…
Guys, I just want to take a minute to encourage you. Wherever you and your spouse are on your journey, you can make it through.
I know it may seem like Pat and I have a perfect relationship, but we have had plenty of difficult moments, hard conversations, and even bitter fights. But at the end of the day, we’re still a team. No matter what we’re going through — no matter what one of us needs in our businesses or what the other feels about it — we’re going to talk it out and come to an agreement. You and your spouse can do that too!
I hope this episode inspired and empowered you! You guys know I love having Pat on the show, and I want to honor him for sharing his time with you and with me and bringing so much wisdom and brilliance to the table.
Okay, we’re going to head off to our dinner reservations now. We’re going to celebrate our anniversary in style (and with steak!). I can’t want to see what the next three years bring us!
Thanks for joining us today, Tribe. Now enjoy your weekend and get ready to crush another week!
I’ll talk to you guys later!