Wow, who would have thought starting a business with your spouse could be so stressful? I mean the kind of stress where you wake up in the morning taking your blood pressure because you want to know how high it’s gotten by the end of the day. I’m not kidding; when you see the number, you’ll be calling the doctor for an emergency visit. The question that comes to mind is, who is this person? What happened to the person I love and who is my best friend? When you decide to open a business with your spouse, the ugly can get uglier, and that’s just how it is, especially when there are two very different personalities.
The Second Time Around
I retired recently, and wanted to find something to do, not just for me, but for us. My spouse is going to be retiring in ten months, and when there’s nothing to do, it can be hazardous to your health. How? There’s no easy answer for that, but picture a nomad wondering aimlessly from one place to another with no direction. That’s how you feel without a plan in place. In a previous relationship of mine, we ventured into selling figurines at a flea market, so why not again? I broached the idea to my spouse, who was cool on the idea, but agreed to it when I told her how much money could be made. Money is a great motivator for her.
What’s in a Business Name
What’s in a name? EVERYTHING. You might think picking a name would be semi-hard, but jeez, this was like getting the dog to stop barking at the mailman — not easy. My spouse and I went back and forth trying to decide on a name, and I wanted to scream, “Are you freaking crazy, or do you just not have a clue?” She doesn’t get it — the name of the business means so much, as it defines who we are, and more importantly, what our business is about. A business name must be perfect. It can take days or weeks to come up with the perfect business name — it might even come to you during a dream. You might not settle on a name until the pieces of the business plan start to come together.
Clearly, there is no guarantee that you’ll think up the perfect name in the time it takes to drink half a cup of coffee. Yet in the time it took my spouse to drink that half cup of coffee and put the cup in the saucer, she threw fifteen names at me, and got mad that I didn’t feel like she’d cured some horrible disease. The names stunk, and there was no thought put into it beyond taking a sip of coffee. I guess you can tell that agreeing on a business name wasn’t easy for us. I hope this experience will be different for you and your spouse.
The main thing is that we got through this, and are still together. We realized we had to sit down and brainstorm names without getting mad. Finally, we agreed that Unique Things was to be our website name. WHEW! We learned that if we had looked at our target audience and found out exactly what we were going to sell, this process would have been a lot easier. The next piece of our hastily put together plan was products. There is nothing easy about us becoming the master of our fates or our own bosses even at our age.