Friends, I have something so exciting to share with you today!!! Zack, my hubby, and I have been working on an idea for this blog ~ a monthly (bi-monthly?) column called Handmade Hubby, written by Zack himself. We’re both super ecstatic about this and the opportunities it will bring to this community. Our goal is to bless others and spend some time each month discussing what questions and/or dilemmas you have regarding handmade/indie biz and then offering our experience + feedback through a follow-up blog post. It’s going to be amazing! Read on for a little background on our marriage, experience and then Zack’s vision for Handmade Husband. [xoxo]
* * *
This column will be one in which I offer a man’s/husband’s perspective on this business, what works for us, and practical business talk. I’ll answer questions from readers in the hopes that I can help you, as the entrepreneur, to succeed in an industry that’s far from traditional. I am a logical business man that regularly helps to coordinate big money and creative professionals, marketing, and entrepreneurship. I’m a blogger’s husband, and proud supporter of
the handmade community smart entrepreneurs.
The reason I am a handmade husband is because I believe that what Maggie’s doing, if done right, is the right way to go about life. Right now, there is a big movement of “YAY, totally quit your job and do what you LOVE!!!” While I believe this is wonderful in theory, I also know that it’s not actually that simple. People who pursue their passions are admirable, but it’s the people that can pay the bills with their passion that are the real heroes.
When Maggie came home from her (well-paying, great benefits) career occupation one evening and said, “I have to get out of that job.” We had a serious discussion. I knew that she was miserable at work (albeit thankful), and she wanted Gussy to be her life. I knew what she wanted, but I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure if the handmade business world had a proven profitable track record, and neither did Maggie. Like any smart business person, I didn’t shut down the idea, but set outlines for what it would take for her dream to gain my approval.
Now wait just a minute! In today’s society, can’t a woman do whatever she darn well pleases, regardless of whether she has her husband’s “approval” or not?! My answer to that is of course she can, but families that believe in and support each other get a great deal farther in life. Sometimes you have to put in the work to get all parties on board, but it’s important. This topic could warrant its own post, but I digress…
Maggie asked me when I thought she could do it. Together we sat down, ran some numbers and came up with solid sales figures and a savings goal that needed to be met before she could leave her proofreading position. She worked hard, long hours. She put her head down and muscled through, like a business owner should. When that day came, when we had saved that money and attained that level of sales success, we were both so ecstatic for the future. She’d won me over.
Multiple times every week we arrange to sit and talk about the business. In these Gussy Meetings (super clever name, I know) I ask questions, listen, offer any applicable knowledge I have, and listen some more. We brainstorm over issues that need solving, decisions that need to be made, and what steps we can take to improve the business. This time together is not only good for Gussy Sews, but it’s quality time, and it’s good for us.
I’ve come to the conclusion that, in the world of handmade, there are three different kinds of husbands:
- Closed-minded skeptic: The most common variety. Their fear of the unknown––or perhaps their intimate knowledge of the difficulties ahead––paralyze their support. They want no part in this, and would prefer you just drop it. This guy is often smart, but worried. He’s not sure that the potential payoff would be worth the risk. This is where you have to shine. Do the research (check out 100 books if you have to), make a plan, talk to people who know more about it than you do. Your hard work won’t likely go unnoticed. If he offers advice, listen, it means he’s coming around.
- Overly-optimistic #1 fan: Some guys are so ready for a change that they’ll jump at anything. There were times when the dissatisfaction that Maggie was feeling at work really just made me want her to get out of there, despite the financial implications. This attitude is great emotional support, but be careful here. You need to do your research, and you need to share it with him. He may be ready for you to dive into entrepreneurship today, but if you want to succeed, you both need to understand how it will affect your life.
- Somewhere in between lies a husband who is just perfect, although they rarely start that way: It takes a lot to win over the skeptic, or wake up the optimist, but if this entrepreneurial life is really what you want, keep up the good work and your husband will land here.
I know it’s not always a husband… Many of you might be single and trying to figure this out on your own. Maybe your parents need convincing? Maybe you’re looking for investors? Either way, just remember that the principles of doing your research and arming yourself with the support of talented people will always help.
Please — tell me your thoughts in the comments. Does your husband need more convincing? Have you been through this and have advice for everyone else? If you’d like this column to continue, please send me questions. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “DEAR ZACK” in the subject, and your question could be featured, helping others.