Over the years, I’ve found a common theme in successful people, they have a great idea and they follow through on it.

Most of the time, the first part is easy: everyone has a passion, and most of us have at least a vague idea of what we might possibly, someday, be able to do with ours. It’s the second part that’s tricky.

As much as we’d all sometimes like to live in a vacuum, we don’t. And often it’s natural that the follow-through can be helped or hindered by the people around us. Whether it’s starting a new job, starting a business, or simply changing focus, our nearest and dearest will surely express their feelings about it.

When I left my position as an executive recruiter to start my own recruiting business, my husband was, shall we say, less than enthusiastic. I know many of you can at relate to this situation. It took six months for me to get his buy-in and those six months were hard on both of us. (I was already taking classes at Suffolk University, studying for my coaching certification and I wanted to start my own business!?) It was important to me to share with him my business plan, and in doing so I engaged him with my passion and determination. This helped our relationship a lot. Then when the numbers came in at the end of that first year, he truly did put his weight behind my business. I don’t say this to criticize: his doubts were legitimate. But if I had listened to them over the calling in my heart, I would never be where I am today. And it’s our opposites that give us a nice balance.

One of the most challenging factors I work with in my coaching practice is the “Unsupportive Spouse”. The significant other in any relationship likes to think they’re the voice of reason—and sometimes they are, but more often, what they’re voicing are their own fears and doubts. “If you start your own business, will you make enough money?” they’ll ask. “Will you still have time for me and the kids?” “Are you sure that’s a smart idea?” “Will anyone really buy that product or service?” These questions, coming from the one who’s supposed to love you ‘till death do you part, can feel like an attack, because they’re mirroring the voice of your inner critic.

Now, I’m no marriage counselor, and I would never presume to offer my clients advice on how to handle their personal relationships, but I will say this: there’s a difference between compromise and control. If your spouse is worried about having enough money to live on, come up with an amount that you need to save before you leave your job. Do you feel comfortable with six months’ salary in your savings? Twelve? Is money a factor at all, or is it about time and attention? Be willing to compromise, and the ride will be a lot smoother. If it’s about control, well… that’s a deeper issue, and might require a different approach.

Rational, objective discussion of your spouses’ fears and concerns can go a long way. Change can be a scary proposition, and it often leaves people behind. Sometimes, your partner only needs to be heard, and feel that they’re included in your plans.

As someone I knew once wrote, “When mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.” If following your personal and professional passion will make you a happier, more fulfilled individual, it’s truly the best choice for everyone around you. Through compromise, compassion, and understanding, you can often help that “voice of reason” become a voice of support and solidarity.


WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG OR WEBSITE? Please do, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC, known as Coach DQ, is a professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader. Through the use of her B.R.I.D.G.E. programs she helps marketing, advertising, and creative entrepreneurs navigate career or business transition while maintaining a healthy career-life balance. Her core belief that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, consistently leads clients to uncover hidden resources and strengths. B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap and accelerate your career so you can love your life now! Visit www.CareerLifeBalance.net or http://www.coachdq.com today or for more information email me.

As a certified professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader, Dawn helps sales, marketing, advertising and creative entrepreneurs to accelerate their career so they’ll love their life!


  1. Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  2. DQ says:

    Welcome Plastic Surgeons and Thank you so much! I appreciate that. How did you find us?

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