At the height of the yuppie culture in the 1980s, according to Wikipedia, the term DINK was coined. DINK is an acronym for dual income no kids. It occurred to me recently that a related acronym for those of us who co-own small businesses with a spouse, but do not have kids, is SINK. No kids, but a single income – shared. This is truly “all eggs in one basket.” Now thinking about it, SINK doesn’t sound very positive in the context of income, but I see it as motivating. To avoid sinking, we must swim in sync to ensure the business succeeds. And, whether a married couple or not, business partnerships should involve this same frame of reference, work together in the “one for all” model or risk the break up of the business partnership. Anyone aspiring to start a small business especially with a partner should keep in mind that being a SINK is more difficult than a DINK!
My spouse/business partner has been self-employed since the day I met him, many years ago. I, on the other hand, was a person who had been working, since the age of 15, for a long list of bosses, in a variety of workplaces. It has only been in the past 20 years that both my spouse and I are self-employed and self-employed at the company we co-own. We have had some challenging experiences, including obtaining a mortgage, when trying to explain our work situation to outsiders. In our business, my spouse/business partner is the person who handles the marketing, finances, and bookings of all our work. Until he completes the tasks related to getting us retained, and most important, paid for a portion of our work, there is little for me to do. My work is project based and is dependent on my partner having lined up the work for me (and our employees) to do. We truly are in sync with each other and “co-dependent” in positive ways. There are, however, many challenges associated with our business model because, without my partner getting the work and without me performing the bulk of the work that he has obtained, we would soon be out of business. When someone who needs to verify our income asks how much money we make, I always answer, “Well, it depends. Today, because I am here talking with you, I haven’t made any money, at all. But, if we can get this meeting over with, perhaps I will make some money tomorrow!”. Needless to say, I am the only one who is amused by this quip, but it is the reality with which my partner and I live.