Lately, I've been hearing this a lot. And it bothers me.
And I think we need to talk about it.
Because this isn't about someone's opinion about where to go on holiday or whether you should have spaghetti Bolognese or Chicken Kiev for dinner.
When I hear this, it's because they're deciding whether or not to invest in their business.
In my work as a business coach, I help business owners and entrepreneurs build a profitable, productive and pleasurable business.
The majority of my clients are women and typically, they are juggling the business with childcare, family, a full time job or other caring responsibilities.
In most businesses, it's easy to see simple changes they can make that will make a big difference.
When I speak to women about how they can implement these changes, they get excited and they're ready to take the next step.
They're ready to see their business dreams come to life.
And then they say they need to speak to their partner about it.
Which is very good.
All couples need to have open and frank conversations about money, especially when it comes to household finances. Many a marriage has perished on the rocks of financial troubles.
So I always welcome this conversation and I encourage women to talk to their partners.
My husband and I talk a lot about my business (even when he doesn't want to!) because it impacts how our family life operates.
So it is good to talk!
What's interesting though, is when women come back and say 'my partner doesn't think it's a good idea and says no'.
That becomes the final word.
Why does this happen?
When was the last time you heard a man say 'I need to talk to my partner' and then turn around and say 'She doesn't think it's a good idea and says no.'
Trust me, it's a lot rarer than women saying it and I find this trend worrying.
I believe that when it comes to my business, I am best placed to make a decision about it.
Why do so many women then defer the ultimate decision to their partners, even when they know it's a good decision to make and especially when their spouse may have nothing to do with the business?
What is going on? Are women afraid to stand in their own power and make a decision based on what's right for them and their business for fear of getting it wrong?
From my experience, I have identified 5 possible reasons:
1. Some women may think their spouse is a better judge of what the right thing is to do, especially when it comes to making financial decisions.
2. Deep down, some women may want that decision to be taken away from them (so they can't be blamed if it doesn't work out)
3. Many women don't trust and believe in their ability. Research shows that when women apply for promotions, they hold themselves back if they don't believe they can do 80-100% of the role whereas men will be more likely to take a gamble and put themselves forward even if they can only do 60-70% of the role's requirement.
4. They have a big money block around failing. 'What if I make this investment and it doesn't work out?' 'What will people think?' 'What will my partner think of me?'
5. They're scared of taking a big leap. Staying small and hidden is a lot easier (in the short term) and by abdicating the decision, they are justified in staying where they are.
This is NOT about making the partner the bad guy or painting the women as weak.
But it is a worrying trend when you see strong and capable women not taking control of their own financial destiny and trusting their ability to build a successful business.
So how can we reverse this trend? Here are some recommendations for having THAT conversation:
• Before you talk to your partner, take some time to listen to and trust your gut instinct (it never fails). If something feels right to do, be strong in that decision.
• Talk openly to your partner. Weigh up the pros, the cons and what it means for you and your family.
• Protect your own energy. If something feels right to you, protect that and don't allow someone else's fears and doubts chip away at your confidence.
• Take their thoughts on board and then retreat. Take time to decide what is right for you and your business.
Ask yourself, how many women would support their partners if they wanted to invest in their business?
The truth is, most would.
Now it's time for women to get the same support and the same backing.