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5 signs you have an abusive relationship with your business

Eleanor Beaton

Play a game with me.

Let’s imagine that your business is not a collection of offers, processes, bank accounts etc. Imagine instead that your business is a rambunctious pre-teen named Thomasina.

Thomasina (your business) does her best to bring you Cash, Influence, and Autonomy. But she’s not fully mature yet, so she’s still learning how to do those things with as much skill and precision as she’ll be able to do a few years from now.

But honestly, Thomasina is doing her best to make money and have an impact because she wants to make you happy.

In return, this is what you do:

No matter how much money Thomasina brings home to you, you tell her it’s never enough.

You rarely think to thank her and celebrate what she DOES do.

When Thomasina hits a goal, you shrug and tell her (and others!) that she should have done it months ago.

When Thomasina passes a developmental milestone, you brush it off because while you were impatiently waiting for her to get her act together and produce already, you thought you’d help the situation by setting an even higher milestone for her to hit.

You frequently compare Thomasina to other businesses — some of whom are much older, more established, or just plain different from her — and in these comparisons, you conclude that Thomasina is lacking. You make sure you let her know all the places she is lacking so she knows the GIANT LIST of things she needs to do to improve.

Thomasina grows up hearing two core messages from you: More! Faster!

I could go on, but this would become really sad really fast.

The sad truth is that MANY female founders have an abusive relationship with their businesses…and then they wonder why it isn’t growing faster/is so hard/is overwhelming etc.

Your business is MORE than a collection of processes, email addresses, invoices, and client lists. Your business is a living, breathing organism that is pulling out the stops to bring you money, influence, and freedom.

This is a blunt reminder to a) SEE HER and b) treat her with the respect and reverence she deserves.


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