You probably already know that up to 87 percent of all entrepreneurs fail out of business within the first three years. This occurs for any number of reasons, including: lack of funding, poor organization, poor product choice, loss of interest, etc. However, you might be surprised to learn that a great many entrepreneurs fail out of business because of marital / family problems – their own, a partner’s, or an employee’s. Every year thousands of hardworking entrepreneurs lose their business when they, or a key member of their team, divorces and leaves the enterprise.
If you know someone who has gone through a divorce, you already have a pretty good idea of the emotional, financial and physical toll it can take. However, have you ever considered the impact of that divorce upon the divorcees’ quality and quantity of work during and after the divorce? This costs industry billions of dollars each year in errors and lost productivity. While divorce is a serious problem for large corporations, it can be catastrophic for a startup.
There are several reasons why divorce is so prevalent among entrepreneurs, including feelings of alienation and abandonment by the spouse and family due to the long work hours needed to get the new enterprise up and running. Occasionally, it is the result of infidelity resulting from long hours spent apart and the often close working conditions between co-workers. For example, I once knew of an individual who owned an insurance agency. He set a goal to increase profits from $100,000 to $1,000,000 in a single year (note: this was back when that was real money). He succeeded. However, during the divorce proceedings which followed (in which he lost his million dollars, his house, his family and his business) it came to light that he and his secretary had spent so much time together that they had an affair during which she became pregnant. That was one expensive divorce.
One way to avoid divorce is to involve your spouse and family in the creation of your new enterprise. If you’re going to work long hours, as much as possible do it near to your spouse and children.
In future articles I’ll discuss a variety of ways to not only avoid divorce yourself, but also ways to limit the chances of divorce among your key employees, by building stronger, happier, and more fulfilling marriages. You’ve worked hard to build your business to this point. Don’t let divorce, yours or someone else’s, destroy all your work.
If you have questions, desire additional information, or have a topic that you’d like to see covered in one of the upcoming articles, please contact me at www.gretzconsultinggroup.com
If you want to discuss something with me, please call between 9AM and 5PM (Eastern) at: 502-649-3761