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Just Cool It!

How to calm your spouse's fears when you start your own business.

This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Starting a homebased business is stressful enough without your spouse or partner turning into a nervous Ned or Nettie. Gayle Feinberg, 35, knows firsthand the difficulties of calming a spouse's fears while launching a business. The beginnings of her Honeoye Falls, New York, company, ASPIRE (After School Program of Innovative Learning Reaching Every Child) Inc. were fraught with marital tensions. "Working from home wasn't legitimate to my husband," says Feinberg, whose company creates personal development and enrichment classes for middle-school students. "He downplayed the financial aspect of start-ups, saying things like 'You'll never make enough to really make the time you spend worth it. Why don't you get a real job?' "

Fueling the fire, her husband was laid off. He decided to start a homebased software-consulting business, and, suddenly, tension skyrocketed as they competed for valuable resources. "We'd fight for time on the computer and in the office," adds Feinberg.

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