Help me put my wife in business

Here’s a podcast listener question this week:

“Dan, my wife mentioned recently she wants to learn to decorate cakes, and since I’ve been listening to you, I immediately thought of making it into a business that we could run together and be able to spend more time together. My wife, however doesn’t see or believe that this is feasible. My question is, what is the best way to show her the potential? Should I work up a business plan? Find ways to market a few of her cakes once she gets going?”


Wow – you’re a guy after my own heart.  As soon as Joanne makes some beautiful note cards or a gorgeous
painting I immediately start thinking about how we could duplicate those and make a million dollars.  And then she gently reins me back in by reminding me that her enjoyment comes from the process itself, or perhaps by doing it for one of our children – not because she wants to make some money.  I had to learn to allow her creative and artistic gifts to be expressed simply for the joy that it gives her – not for yet one more way for ME to see how to make money.

I would encourage you to go carefully on this.  The fact that your wife wants to learn how to decorate cakes may be far removed from creating an income stream.  Her feeling that it’s “not feasible” may be her resistance to immediately putting pressure on the quality or marketability of her work.  It may be a soft way to tell you she wants to do something independently without having you looking over her shoulder.

There are a lot of ways to make money.  But we also need activities in our lives that are just there for the enjoyment.  I suggest you list 10 other ways you could create additional family income and choose from those.  Let your wife learn, experiment and hear the affirmation of others for a year.  Perhaps somewhere along the way she’ll get the idea that cake decorating could be a profitable business.

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