Your spouse.  The most taken for granted stakeholder in a business.  Although we love our spouses, and part of our motivation in business comes from taking care of our family, we still tend to put our spouses last in the business.

In the past, I have been a poor steward in the area of treating my wife as a serious stakeholder in the business.  I mean, what's the big deal, her life and the life of my family only depend on my business in a big way.  It makes sense that I would put that relationship last.

Point nine of our Total Experience Design manifesto is that the proper experience creates meaning for all the stakeholders in the business.  Stakeholders being anyone who is affected by the business in some way.  This includes your spouse.

When it comes to your business experience you create at home for your spouse make sure it doesn't look like this:

  • I'm too busy right now.
  • I don't have time.
  • We can't afford to go out.
  • When things are tough, expect to be shut out rather than let in
  • we are in the same room together but I'm not really here.

Would any of your customers buy that type of service from you?

What if you created the following experience instead:

  • I run a business so that I can attend all of the important family events without having to ask permission.
  • I am free to take time off whenever it suits me and my family
  • Even if cash flow is tight, I am making an effort to spend quality time with my spouse.
  • My wife is part of my business inner circle.
  • We communicate regularly on what is happening in the business and why.

You are the captain of your ship.  You have a business so that you can have freedom.  Freedom to create value in a way that maximizes your talents.  Freedom to make choices as to how you will live your life.  Take care of your spouse.  He or she is the most important stakeholder you have.  I wouldn't be where I am at without mine.

What do you do to make sure that your spouse doesn't get lost in the business owner shuffle?