Some husband/wife entrepreneur teams want to kill each other. After all, working together can put a strain on your relationship, as well as not do any favors for your small business. I’m one of the lucky ones who actually thrives in working with my spouse.
If you’re thinking of starting a business with your spouse in 2015, or are simply looking for ways to get along better, these tips will come in handy.
- Know Your Roles – And, no, I’m not talking gender roles here! In a business, it’s essential that you outline what each of you will do and respect that the other has full authority to make decisions in his domain. For me, I handle the branding of CorpNet, as well as operations. My husband, Phil, is our SEO expert. We do come together to make major decisions, but we respect each other’s area of expertise.
- Leave the Ego at the Door – Sometimes it’s hard to admit you’re wrong, especially to your partner. And while arguing about who took the trash out last at home won’t have a major effect on the rest of your life, what you disagree about at work will have a much bigger impact, both on the two of you as well as your business. Be open to admitting fault or apologizing.
- Shut the Office Door at the End of the Day – When quittin’ time rolls around, leave your work (mental and actual) at the office. You need to transition into other roles, namely spouse and parent, and you don’t want those wires getting crossed. If there’s something work-related you want to discuss, put it on your calendar to have a sit-down with your spouse first thing in the morning.
- Take Time Out – All work and no play makes your marriage very strained. That’s why it’s imperative that you spend some time not talking about work, and getting out and having a little fun. Hire a sitter for Friday nights and have a quiet dinner (or go dancing; do your thing!). You’ll find that you work together even better come Monday if you’ve reconnected with your life partner.
- Align Your Goals – You may have one set of goals for 2015 for your business while your spouse has another set. Discuss what you want to accomplish this year, and make sure you’re both on the same page with those objectives. That way, you’re both moving in the same direction, which makes those goals become reality even faster.
It’s important to pay close attention to both your professional and personal relationship with your spouse when you work together to make sure you aren’t harming one with the other. If working with your partner is causing more stress than good, be honest about it and find a way to make it work.