Business Or Job? What To Do When Your Husband Asks You To Get a Job

Today I’m talking about a situation that many women entrepreneurs might face in their careers… what to do when your family and spouse question your business, and ask you to consider going back to a day job!

If you’re in the startup phase of your business, and you left a corporate job to pursue your passion, then you might encounter this tricky situation, so keep reading and watch the video below!

To Continue Your Business Or Job?

What To Do When Your Husband or Family Asks You To Quit Your Business and Get a Job

When I was in the early stages of starting my business, I was all passion and erratic cash flow, talk about business stress. Some months would be amazing, and others would make me want to pull my hair out.

My husband and then boyfriend Robin would see my ups and downs and started hinting that there might be great companies for me to work for. He even brought home a few brochures for “best companies to work for”.

And while he meant well with his job “research”, his lack of confidence in my new business wasn’t helping.

But here’s the thing, and listen closely if you’re in a similar situation: he was only picking up on my own insecurities about my business.

You see, your husband or partner is only trying to do what’s best for you. He might be uncomfortable with the risks that you’re taking, especially if he’s used to seeing a regular paycheck coming into your household from you.

If you want his support, you need to explain to him the best ways for him to lend it to you. That might mean that when you need to vent about your business, he just needs to listen.

Or it might mean that you want his advice when you’re making business decisions. It’s going to be different for everyone.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with fear and doubt, when you keep it where it belongs, in the attic and not in the living room.

That means not letting those thoughts take up so much space in your day to day.

It also means taking massive action so that you can build up your confidence and business momentum. If your business is not doing well, and you keep worrying about it, it’s only going to perpetuate that you’re not doing well.

On the other hand, every time you get a new client, close a sale, partner with someone exciting who can help you grow your business… tell your partner and celebrate together! Then you’re rewiring your brain to believe in the success of your own company.

And in turn, your husband will come to see you and your business for the success that’s in progress!

Choosing Between a Business Or Job?

Once you’ve considered the best ways to communicate with your spouse, husband, or other family members about your business vision… you need to make sure that it’s the right course for you, too.

I’m a huge believer in the power of business to change lives and communities, but not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. There’s nothing wrong with taking a job, freelancing, or taking on a bigger client contract while you’re building your empire.

You can sometimes even turn your past employer into a client while you continue to grow your own business, giving you the best of both worlds in terms of stability, income, and creativity.

On the other hand, giving your business 100% of your attention can give it the boost it needs to really get going. So if you can hold out on getting a job long enough to get your business off the ground, you’ll be off to the races. And your husband or family will love you for it.

There’s something powerful about women going after what they want in life, so whether that’s a business or job, put your whole heart into it and you’ll go far!

I Want To Hear From You…

Have you ever faced this situation? Share your startup success story to encourage other women entrepreneurs, or let us know if you’re still in this phase… so we can support you! Leave a comment below, business or job – it doesn’t matter.


  1. Jessica on April 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    While my husband has been truly supportive of my dreams and business goals, I’ve always had a few family members who are waiting for the day I just wake up and realize that I need to stay in a job (that I may hate) for a number of years and just ‘suck it up’. This has been a huge issue in terms of gaining confidence as an entrepreneur.

    Personally, I’ve decided to work fulltime for the time being and slowly grow my business on the side. This allows me to have the security of steady income for the time being but also realize my dreams. It also gives me the time I need to grow into my entrepreneurial heels and gain the confidence I will need by taking small steps each day toward my goals.

    This is such a tricky topic but you had really great advice Nathalie. I look forward to watching more of your videos!

  2. Monica Lee on April 17, 2013 at 8:38 am

    You know I love some Nathalie Lussier and this is a perfect example of why I do, fabulous video. “Train the people around you as to what you need and YES they do have your best interest at heart!”

  3. Gill Polard on April 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

    This video arrived in my inbox at just the right moment. My hubby is supportive – now. It took him awhile to come around to the idea and I do still work my regular 9-5 but I have committed myself fully to developing my own company and he is really a pillar of strength for me now.
    Other family members however… Don’t really seem to “get” what I do. Its tough to explain how I earn money and professional satisfaction when I can do my work at my laptop in Starbucks. They refer to my company time as “ME TIME”.

  4. Nicole Cooley on April 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I am still in the corporate world and just starting to grow my business. I deal with the guilt factor already, knowing my goal is to quit my job. Also, although my husband trie, I know he doesn't "get it" yet. Just knowing that others deal with this same issue makes me feel better. : )

    • Nathalie Lussier on April 17, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story Nicole! It's not easy being different, but it can be so worth it! He'll come around. :)

  5. Liz Brazier on April 17, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks for this episode. It is something I am experiencing with my" old school" father. Knowing it comes from a place of love and concern helps but you are right that is tapes into our own fears. A work in progress on this one!

    • Nathalie Lussier on April 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Hey Liz! I totally hear you on parents. Mine are supportive now, but especially in the early days it was hard to explain why I wanted to do this, and what the heck I was even doing. I think the more confidence you develop about your business, the more he'll be able to get behind you on this business, too. :)

  6. Nathalie Lussier on April 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    @Jessica: I’m so happy you found your path and I think it’s a great way to go. I also think that other people in our lives can be tougher on us than our spouse, because although they want what’s best for us… they don’t necessarily see us in the same way as we see ourselves!

    @Monica: Woohoo, so glad you enjoyed this episode! :)

    @Gill: I’m so glad he’s a pillar of strength for you now Gill! I think other family members need a little more convincing too, since they don’t see what you see… and they have their own notions of what’s normal. Hang in there, it’s worth it!

  7. Marinda on April 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    It’s like good ol’ Dr Phil says: “You teach people how to treat you.” ✿ Great post Nathalie, every entrepreneur can relate to someone telling them to get a ‘real job’!

    • Nathalie Lussier on April 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      @Marinda: Yes, Dr. Phil is right on the money with that one! :)

      @Nancy: Oooh, thank you so much for sharing your story. I think the whole visa thing can add another level of complexity, but it sounds like you’ve got things covered in that arena, so I’m really happy for you on that front. It’s also awesome that you’ve got your man on your side now, and I know Off The Charts is going to help you rock it when you get to Australia! :) Woohoo!

  8. Nancy on April 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    OMG, this totally hits me at home.

    I decided one year ago that I wanted to start my own business as a health coach. As a springboard, I work as an accountant at a large investment bank (an obviously unrelated field). I’m leaving my job May 15th (attending Off The Charts Live in 3 weeks!) and moving to Australia end of July (I currently live in New Jersey just outside New York).

    My boyfriend who lives in Sydney, although he tries to be supportive, does not fully understand my need and desire to start my own business, especially in such a different field. He has said many times that starting my own business in a new country straight away (as opposed to finding a job and growing it slowly) will be really really hard, and up until recently was really pushing me to look at accounting jobs temporary or otherwise in the Sydney area. He’s especially concerned about my visa situation, since everyone he knows who has moved to Australia from somewhere else got an employer sponsored visa to keep them in the country. However, a de-facto (i.e. partner) visa is available for partners of Australian citizens, even for unmarried partners.

    He would send me job descriptions for jobs he thought I’d be interested in.

    Every time he did this, I wanted to scream. In a loving way of course. It would rile me up deeply. But you’re right, the reason why it would piss me off so much is because he was in a way speaking directly to my own insecurities about starting a business, and actually making a living and surviving in a foreign country to boot.

    Fortunately he’s since backed off a bit about the whole thing. The fact is that when I do get to Sydney (I have so much to do between now and then it’s ridiculous, but I’m excited for the possibilities), I plan on growing my business slowly and organically, and no, I’m not taking an accounting job in the meantime. Fortunately I have some money saved up so that will hopefully reassure him that I won’t be depleting his resources in order for me to pursue building my dream business.

    Doesn’t mean I won’t be working my ass off to get clients and focus 100% on my business, but the pressure from him will hopefully be off.

    I think your advice is great. One thing I do need to show him is how to support me the right way (I haven’t been doing that) and have no problem cluing him in on ways that he in his own way can help me.

    Thanks again for the vid! Looking forward to seeing you at Off the Charts Live in a few weeks!!!

  9. ralphfrondoza on April 17, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Nathalie,

    Wow! What an AWESOME article!

    I’m running an Online Sales & Marketing Business for 2 years now and I’ve been looking for business articles that will inspire and motivate me AND will also be based on the current set-up I have.

    What I always come across are articles that are a) too out there focused on management/ business doctrines b) too corporate or big business centered.

    But your article truly hits the spot. What your talking about is about the baseline of the thing we balance with the passion for our businesses. Its the Personal Human relations we have BEFORE we went on with our business journey. I always have this challenge when it comes to my family especially as I’m the 1st to venture to entrepreneurship and leave the 8-5 life

    I always believe any growth is determined by the relationships we choose to keep and the comfort zones we decide to leave in order to better ourselves and the ones we love.

    Thanks for this AMAZING article, you truly inspired and motivated me to further on with my journey.

    Have a remarkable 2013 Nathalie!

  10. Simone Samuels on April 18, 2013 at 12:19 am

    This topic totally hit home to me! I still work a corporate job as bridge while I build my own business as a health coach, and while my partner is supportive, I realise I am not being clear to him on how he can really help me. I have some weeks when I feel like I am working two full time jobs, and it would be amazing if he could help with more things around the house at these times so that it could help ease my stress. His emotional support is not always enough! Explaining my aspirations to my family is another whole story! They definitely do not understand why I would want to leave my secure job to run my own business- it is so risky to them….but for me, sticking at something that doesn’t light me up is not just in the equation. I figure they will come around when I do finally quit my FT job and then my business will be something they take more seriously, and is not just my hobby.

  11. Marilee Sears on April 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Nathalie, you hit the nail on the head! My husband is awesome, but sometimes I feel like my parents and siblings have been not so supportive, which stinks because a lot of them are in the same business (a number of dentists in the family and I do dental consulting). As soon as I got comfortable (and I am constantly getting more comfortable) talking about what I am doing and why, I have felt my family's support so much more strongly. Realizing that I am central in a problem sucks at first, but is also amazingly liberating! And I love me some New Girl!

    • Nathalie Lussier on April 20, 2013 at 3:18 am

      Woohoo so happy to hear you've been able to turn things around Marilee! And yes, New Girl rocks – way to spot that. ;)

  12. Laura George on April 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I also think it's important to realize that our own insecurities may project feelings onto our family. When I first started out, I assumed that my boyfriend (now fiance) wouldn't be supportive of such a "strange" career move to quit my steady job and try to start my own business. I even confronted him about his lack of support. He looked incredibly confused – because he thought it was a great idea for me and totally supported it! But because I was so fearful, when he was constantly feeding me encouragement I assumed he was stewing in frustration. So it's also helpful to take a step back and just ask the person how they feel about your business and then talk it out. Even if they are wishing you had a "real job", you might be able to show them how passionate you are about what you're doing and garner a little more support.

    • Nathalie Lussier on April 20, 2013 at 3:17 am

      I love that story Laura, and you're totally right – it can be our own feelings showing up in the mirror through the people who are close to us!

  13. Nathalie Lussier on April 20, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Absolutely Gracie, thanks so much for chiming in here! :)

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  15. Laura on July 24, 2014 at 4:52 am

    I needed this post. I’m having a wobble today. I get regularly asked by family when am I going back to work now my sons are at school. NEVER. Well I hope never anyway. I want to focus on my business. But instead of getting frustrated with their lack of faith, I need to look into myself and see how I am projecting my own insecurities. Thanks.

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      I’m so glad this came at the right time for you Laura!! :)

  16. Robbie Hutchins on October 1, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Wow @Nathalie. There was just so much in this post. After lots of ‘two steps forward, one step back’ in the first year of running my business things are really starting to take off now. My Husband truly is my soul mate but he occasionally drives me to distraction with his ‘get a real job’ suggestions and comments like “If you’re not earning $x by [date] we’ll lose the house.” Generally I find such comments make me quite angry and I work really well when I’m angry so it’s not always a bad thing. I hadn’t considered it might be reflecting my inner demons, though. Thank you so much for a bit of fresh perspective. Maybe next time instead of wanting to throttle him I’ll give him a big kiss instead.

  17. gen on January 31, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Before i quit my corporate job i ensure that my business is growing already and that im already earning equivalent to my salary. 1 year and it went smooth until my husband lost his job.. so we decided to look both for a job whoever gets the job first. I got a job immeadiately since my former manager friend was looking for an associate and she higly recommended me.
    but now its almost a year since my husband lost his job. Just today he got job offer already and still thinking about the offer. When I knew about it I told him to get the job offer already and i realize that I wanted to go back to my business its still running though but i cant focus on it since my job now needs a lot of time. I almost at work more than 12hours a day.

    I feel so frustrated thinking that I can’t do what i love. I really wanted to focus on my business and he doesnt want me to go back untill after 3 years..With my business i manage my own time and have more time with our son I just dont know what to do and feel angry. What should i do?

    • Abi on February 7, 2017 at 8:18 am

      I am in the same position as you. My husband is a gentle soul and hates to tell me exactly what is on his mind because he doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. I quit my job and in between this I decided to focus on my food blog business. He doesn’t understand the ins and outs of blogging or how I can make money from it, sadly too, he could see my insecurities and this made him voice his concern or thoughts which I knew he had all along – he wants be to go back to a 9-5, one that I’m still have happiness in and then continue with my blog on the side. The problem is I think he sees my business as a just a hobby and sadly too because I share my concerns and insecurities with him, he thinks maybe I’m saying I can’t do. Even verbally when I say I don’t know if can do it, all I am doing is sharing my fears. I really feel so helpless, the thought of going back to a 9-5 feels like death to me but he doesn’t understand it, he said he felt I have lost my desire to work. He doesn’t understand my business is work! To have peace in our marriage, I just might have to get a 9-5 but I also feel I will always regret this decision. I don’t want to give up my business and I honestly think going back to work will mean I can’t devote time to it. Because my 9-5 is the type that I can’t just clock out, it needs constant research and commitment.

      • Nathalie Lussier on February 8, 2017 at 8:05 pm

        I hear you Abi! I’m sending so much love your way, and I hope you find the right solution – it’s a tricky thing to explain your business to someone else, especially when it’s such a new thing. Big hugs!