Do’s and Don’ts of seeking business advice from a spouse

Couple kissing

Entrepreneurs’ spouses can wear many hats, but small-business owners shouldn’t rely on them too much.

Most spouses aren’t officially on the payroll, but they can play a huge role in the work life of their entrepreneurial partners.

After all, it’s often your spouse who knows you best. He or she can provide perspective for your overly optimistic projections, support you through a gutsy decision or help develop your communication and leadership skills. “Spouses can be invaluable coaches or counselors because they are not absorbed into the same universe and speak from a more balanced perspective,” says Marion McCollom Hampton, senior partner at Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise.

But it’s important to nurture the spouse-entrepreneur relationship and to avoid making too many demands, McCollum Hampton adds. “The spouse often experiences the entrepreneur’s business as a rival for his or her time and attention.”

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