Your spouse is the go-to person to bounce ideas off of and dream with, right?
So it may seem natural as a married couple to go into business together. OR you may know your skills and talents complement each other but fear ruining the special bond you have by spending too much time together.
We’re celebrating your relationship by sharing some tips for working with your partner or spouse so your relationship doesn’t suffer and maybe even gets stronger!
It’s an exciting prospect — combining your talents and resources together to create a successful venture. But it also presents unique challenges, like achieving a balance between work and home life when all aspects of your day-to-day are intertwined.
How To Find Balance When Working With Your Spouse Or Partner
When married people are in business together, ground rules are required to maintain a healthy relationship while managing a business. That’s because when you’re living and working with the same person every day – all day – it can be difficult to find that separation between your home life and business life. But it’s the key to growth and fulfillment in both areas.
Here are a few tips to help you make it work.
Communication is key to ensuring your business venture is successful all around. Consider formalizing this by scheduling a weekly meeting or daily check-in to make sure you’re on track with your professional goals.
Setting aside time for non-work-related conversations helps you stay connected while managing the workload of a household and children. And don’t forget time for yourself too. Don’t drop the things you love right now because down the road that can lead to burnout and resentment. Your tennis date should stay intact, as should that special friend coffee date.
On the relationship side, talk about and make plans together for the weekend, and discuss events happening in both of your lives. Maybe it’s time to reintroduce date night, just the two of you for this.
Set Clear Boundaries
It’s important to establish clear boundaries between work and home life. Whether you work from home or not, being in business together can easily blur the lines. Consciously set aside specific business hours and days off when you both agree that there will be no talk about the business. This allows for time to relax and restore your energy levels and your relationship.
It will also help to have individually assigned areas. Having a dedicated office or workspace for each of you gives you the opportunity to focus on what you need to accomplish without distraction (and for your partner as well).
Support Each Other’s Goals
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’re going to agree on everything. That means when you’re in business with your spouse, it’s important to support each other’s goals and individual ways of doing things.
Divide and conquer the various tasks within your business and personal life. Then let your partner lead their area of responsibility without the friction of your guidance or opinion (unless they ask for it of course). As long as a task is achieved, it doesn’t matter if your partner does it differently than you would. Sometimes it’s best to focus on the result versus the method of getting there.
Dealing With Disagreements
Despite your best efforts, disagreements will arise. Conflict resolution is especially important when you work together since you can’t as easily create space by going home to separate yourself from the problem and think. Your partner is right there reminding you of an unresolved issue.
Here’s where you have to dig deep and work through to a solution with the person who means the most to you. It’s more emotional and different than dealing with a boss or co-worker.
How can you compromise?
Do you need to back away and cool off for a while?
Being respectful and considerate of each other’s needs and feelings is key. This is a point in time and it will pass.
There’s no way to get around this fact, you’re doing double duty. Disagreements will come up in business just like they do in personal life. You’ll have both but there’s a bright side! Working through these conflicts will make you stronger as a couple.
Examples Of Married Couples In Business Together
Throughout the years, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing several couples who run a business together and have found success and balance. They share tips and tricks you may find useful:
Hear from a creative baker pioneering new techniques in cake decorating. She and her husband work together to run the business and share tips and experiences they’ve learned along the way.
This fun-loving couple creates “critters,” original monster-like characters inspired by folks seen travelling in the New York subways. They’ve found that their differing creative skills are the perfect blend for their business success.
This couple participated in over 150 in-person shows in just over 3 years! It’s incredible that they managed to do this while building their business and maintaining a relationship at the same time. You’ll enjoy hearing the great stories they tell that illustrate what can happen if you just start.
How To Run A Business With Your Spouse And Stay Balanced
For the couples who make it work, there’s no doubt that having a successful business with your partner or spouse can bring many rewards.
By setting clear boundaries, having open communication, supporting each other’s goals, and dealing with disagreements in a respectful manner — married couples in business together can find balance and create a thriving venture.
If you decide to start a business as a married couple, remember to keep an open mind and be flexible with each other. These tips will help ensure that your business and personal relationships remain strong, balanced, and successful for many years to come.
Good luck on your journey together!