Doing business with your husband or wife can be fun!
Haha, we have LOST TRACK of how many times people have said something to us along the lines of “wow that’s so cool that you are married and work together, I would never be able to work with my husband/wife”.
Most people laugh and admit they’d end up wanting to strangle each other, a total marriage killer in their opinion. And do you know what? It can be! But it certainly doesn’t have to. Andy and I have been married for 13 years now and have worked together for 6 of them.
We’ve certainly seen our share of ups and downs. Sometimes I almost think Andy may be losing his hair because I make him pull it out with my forgetful antics. And don’t get me started on how irritating it is to explain the same techie concept over and over to him. Yep, we’ve certainly knocked heads a few times. But we have learned to appreciate each other and encourage each other’s strengths too.
Here is a snapshot of what we have learned:
- Be ok with not being great at something. It’s good to recognize that he is better at editing photos and more efficient too. Don’t let struggles or lack of skill bear any weight on your value. Find YOUR strengths!
- Keep your love life separate. You have to have thick skin in business, and even thicker when your business partner is your lover. Don’t let disagreements turn you sour, forget them quickly.
- Tag team responsibilities around the home and with the kids. We routinely make a list of appointments, housework, meals, activities and then divi out responsibilities at the start of the week.
- Carve out spontaneous couple time. Getting a bit stressed or snappy? Take an “us” break and say to hell with work for a while! Watch an episode of your favourite show and sip a glass of wine, zip over to the coffee shop for a latte, go on a walk around the block. The trick though is to NOT TALK WORK while you are reconnecting.
- Get advice from your friends and family who know you best. Ask them what they perceive your strengths to be. Use this info to gain an understanding of the tasks which may suit you best
- Be honest about your struggles and get help. Don’t expect yourselves to figure everything out on your own. Reach out to other couple entrepreneurs and avoid some of the mishaps!
- Be willing to learn from each other. There is no status quo here. The person who wears the pants might be the pupil, the new recruit may master a skill set faster than you did.
- Don’t fight too intense. Disagree about how to do something? Got your feelings hurt by an insensitive comment? Chat it through in simple terms, choose an action plan, and be ok with less than perfect. You’ll figure it out as you go!
- Heed each others advice. In a normal job you would expect job performance reviews. As a married couple you’ll probably skip these formalities, so choose to view your spouse’s critique of how you did something as valuable input which you can use to better your career.Choose positivity. Neither of you is going to get it all right, so agree to disagree sometimes and choose to find the silver lining in every cloud. Accept each others failures, chase the rainbow together. And this brings us to our final piece of advice….
- Choose to stick together as a team. You are a power couple! You’ll do so much more together than alone, even though it can be frustrating at times. So remember to view your partner as your ally and not your enemy. Encourage each other’s strengths more than you critique weaknesses, and laugh about share misfortunes. Together you grow!