Your loved ones are expected to be your support, give you encouragement and help to motivate you, especially through the hard times.
So what happens when your partner just so happens to be a non-creative? Someone who doesn’t quite understand what you do and why you do it?
This doesn’t have to be a negative, there are ways around it. Let’s look at a few of them below.
Your partner does not have to be part of your business
This one is probably the most important point here.
It is so exciting when you start a business, all you want to do is share it with your loved one. You start dreaming of working from home together, attending markets together, or throwing business and product ideas around over a glass of wine in the evenings.
Of course we want or partner to be on board with all that we do but this is often the furthest thing from their minds. Most importantly remember that this is your dream: not theirs. Of course you want to share your passion and excitement but remembering it is your dream, your idea, and your goals will save disagreements.
2. Only tell them the good bits
This is not healthy in the long term. There is no small business that only has ‘good bits’.
It can however be a good tactic to use for a partner who can only see the flaws in your plan. Focusing on your successes when talking about your creative endeavours will help the other realise just how exciting and wonderful your business is.
Don’t ignore the challenges but see them as just that, a challenge to work through – and find support from other creatives who have probably encountered the same challenges.
The last thing you want in the growth stages of your business is your loved ones telling you to give it up (yes, it happens!).
3. If they are not creative they may never understand
Sometimes a creative person finds another creative person to call their significant other, but more often than not there are wonderful matches made between the creative and the non-creative.
While these partners may never truly understand the passions of a creative person, they have strengths that can help you in your biz. Find these strengths and work with them.
4. The ‘real work’ argument
One common barrier to understanding is that a non-creative partner may see your work from home, or social media, or emails and accounting as ‘not real work’.
After all you are sitting there on your ipad in your jeans enjoying a cup of tea.
This is a common challenge in relationships where one person works from home in a creative online-based business.
Rather than getting defensive (a natural reaction) just explain – tell them about how your instagram brings you sales so you need to keep it updated, or that you are replying to an exciting email about possible wholesale.
It is often a simple lack of understanding of what you are doing that can make a partner feel this way.
Those of us with supportive partners are super lucky, but those of us with partners who don’t understand need to remember you didn’t meet them with the goals of having a business partner or mentor, and so they don’t need to be that.
Find these skills in others who face or have faced similar challenges and let your loved one be just that.
Once you lose that expectation, they will hopefully soon see the joy you feel in running your creative business, and support you in a way that is comfortable to them and nurturing to you.