“I can only do this because my partner pays the bills”

Navigating through funding your creative startup business and how to stop the guilt.

I have struggled so much with this story in my head.

I chose a creative career, and married someone ten years older, with a corporate job and 4 x my income. Well, hasn’t that worked out rather convenient.

But I was brought up to be financially independent. “Make sure you can pay for your own bills”, was the message that was drilled into me as a young girl by my father. So I have always worked hard, albeit in the creative sector, which, as we all know, doesn’t compare to a corporate salary.


creative startup business
Photo by Joslyn Pickens on Pexels.com

Looking for outer validation…or sticking to your values?

I have always had jobs or been self-employed, even when I could have, in theory, taken a break or be a stay-at-home mum. I simply refused. Too stubborn. Because I am just not one to sit still (enneagram 7 / Human Design MG), but I also felt guilty and wanted to be taken seriously as an educated woman.

Is this resonating with any of you?

The drive to make things work came from a feeling of guilt and a need for outer validation. But also from a deeply rooted desire to stay true to myself and do what I love doing. To be my wonderful, creative self, and to be surrounded by other creatives; support them, collaborate with them, co-create events, publish, perform, express ourselves.

And for that, I am grateful.

Sometimes I still feel like a fraud, however, posting about my business, selling dreams to people who perhaps do not have the supportive partner that I have had during all those years. I hear the voices in my head, telling me:”Yes, Nina, that’s alright for you to say, but not everyone can do what you do.”

And while in some cases, this may be true, I also know that starting your own business can be done in a million different ways.

One Instagram follower, Lethenty Cabinetmakers, someone who literally was by my side while I started up my very first own business Nina’s Apartment (they were my neighbouring business in the old Scottish mill), commented on my post, and it filled my heart with love:

creative business coach

He is so right. Partnership, marriage, teamwork, collaboration…it is all about supporting each other. If your loved one can’t support you in becoming who you are…then who will? Would you do the same for them? Of course you would.

He is also right about pointing out that it is not always the higher earning husband supporting the creative wife; sometimes it is the other way around. I know examples even in my own network of friends, where the engineer wife supports her musician husband. So let’s not be too traditional about this.


creative startup business
Photo by Ono Kosuki on Pexels.com

One mountain, many paths

I don’t promise anyone miracles if they are up to their eyeballs in a mortgage, or if they simply can’t just give up their job and have a go at starting a business. But I do know that you can earn money doing what you love, when you are ready. Your creative startup business can become very successful.

I am the living proof, and THAT is what I teach my clients. Perseverance, getting stuff done, bravery. Transforming yourself. The marketing skills, the experience as a serial entrepreneur, the knowledge I have built up over 20 years and am now ready to share with you all.

Some of my clients have partners who pay the bills while supporting them in their startup phase. Some have built up enough savings themselves. Some find that keeping a part time job helps them to ease into entrepreneurship and take off the financial pressure. Some hustle in the evening. Some apply for funding and find investors.


It is none of anybody’s business, really, how you launch yourself.

Guilt is never a good energy to move forward with. Focus on your strengths, your goals and your heart’s desire. That is all.



I have worked as a marketeer, copywriter and entrepreneur in the creative sector for over 20 years. As a creative business coach, I now help other creatives earn more money doing what they love. I offer accountability, and help you find focus, structure and a good understanding of marketing. You will receive practical, no nonsense coaching and mentoring. I work 1:1 with clients for up to six months. Check my offers here.


To make a start on improving structure and clarity in your business today, go and download my free workbook. I guide you through three simple exercises to help you forward.


creative business coach

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