Entrepreneurs hear this when raising money from investors. While being married and having kids is usually a sign of stability and adulthood, in the entrepreneurial world, these are sometimes seen as barriers to success. The entrepreneur who talks about family when raising money risks sounding distracted. Unless you’re starting a business that caters to small children, there’s no good reason to talk about your family with investors.
Before we judge them, let’s consider the reasons investors may worry when you start talking about family:
You may have to relocate for the business. Fast-growing tech companies often have to relocate to be closer to talent, investors, and customers. Will your family prevent the business from moving?
You’ll be expected to put in long hours. The founding team needs to build and market their product, build the team, manage investors, and manage their office all at the same time, so there are many hours spent after hours and on weekends.
Spouses can mess up cap tables. An angry ex-wife or ex-husband can wreak havoc on your company’s cap table if the founder’s equity gets tied up in divorce proceedings. The last thing anyone wants is board member with ulterior motives.
You may have to go without pay. There may be times when your company will run out of cash between rounds of fund raising. At those times it’s the founders who are expected to withhold pay first. Being the sole breadwinner for a family could make doing so impossible.