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Confessions: I helped him start a business, now we have nothing

 I have even tried buying stock for him but after a while there is nothing to show for it (Photo: Shutterstock)

I got married in 2011 and my husband did not have a job. Since then, I have tried to support him to venture into business by giving him capital but, whenever I give him money, it always goes down the drain. I have tried different ways of helping him including buying him physical stock but, after a while, there is usually nothing to show for it. I don’t know how to help him get back on his feet now since I have lost so much money trying to help him. I love him and just like any other woman, I would like a man who is financially stable and who also supports me. Please advise me on how I can help him. I am almost giving up on him.


What the readers say: 

It’s commendable that you are out to help your husband fulfill his financial obligations to the family, please don’t give up on him. However, get him to take a course on financial literacy. This will do all of you a lot of good and help you save money. 

{George Minani}

You are dealing with a man who, probably, has no business acumen. Find out from him what he feels he can do better and help him implement it. Secondly, it is normal that businesses have down turns and that is why it is necessary to have alternative plans. The Bible encourages not to tire in doing good, and now that it is your husband in question, don’t get irritated. 

{Tasma Saka}

The shoe is usually on the other foot -- when it’s the man who starts a business for his wife but she has nothing to show for it after a few months. You have done your best but they say it is always difficult to properly take good care of the money you have been given. People take care of or rather spend wisely what they have worked for but it is often not the same case with money one is given. There is that pain that comes with careless spending of hard earned cash. This might explain why inherited wealth doesn’t survive for long. Find out from your man the best business he can pursue. You have done well for him but you could be forcing him to run a business he has no passion for.

{Ouma Ragumo – Sifuyo}

Boke says: 

Dear Betty, 

All your efforts and attempts to get your husband back on his feet are commendable. This is what relationships, and marriage, in particular should be, lifting each other. Currently, this is a rare quality because many of us want someone else to do something for us and not the other way around. 

You must not give up, however, you need to change tack. I do not know what modalities you used to settle on the business. There is the notion that anyone can do business and that all that one needs to do business is to have capital. This is not necessarily true. There is more to business than just buying and selling. There are factors such as pricing, location, timing, trends and much more. This is why basic business training is very important. 

This does not mean he needs to enroll in a college. There are other avenues of acquiring knowledge without going through formal training. One of such is working as an apprentice or getting a mentor on his desired business line. A mentor can guide him on the nitty gritty of the business. Encourage him to identify one. 

I do not know what training your husband has but a number of successful businessmen run businesses in line with their training. Well, this is not a rule of thumb but it is a comfortable place to start. 

There is also a general principle normally disregarded and that is starting small. Starting small is not being pessimistic. It gives you an opportunity to learn and room to correct yourself if need be. Otherwise, you are on the right track and I wish you the best.

Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology

Simon says: 

Betty, you have done your part in trying to get him on his feet. Investing in someone for almost a decade is not easy. It has taken a lot of sacrifice, self-denial and patience on your part. However, it is only a mad man who does the same thing and expects different results. But such is life and the most important thing is to always be vigilant to know when to hang your boots and try a different approach.

Investing in family is not always the best of things as much as we always want to help because, when things go wrong, you cannot sue them and you cannot take them to the police either so you have to live with things as they are.

The thing about business is that not everyone is cut out for it. Yes, not everyone can do business and I think your husband is in that category of persons. Business is not an activity -- it is not something you do just because your wife has set up something for you, business is a lifestyle.

It may be time for you to help him get a job. This would provide a safe haven for both of you then you will not have to lose so much money every now and then. If things don’t work out at the job then you will know you are dealing with a bigger problem. And, again, it will not cost you so much.

If he insists on carrying on with business, then don’t give him a single penny. Let him find and invest his own money. Perhaps the reason he has not been serious with business is because it was always your money so he had nothing to lose. Support him to get a job but do not invest any more money into his businesses.

Simon Anyona is a relationships counsellor

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