CouplesBusinessPhinellieThere are only a few things more rewarding than working with your spouse.  However, starting a business with your life partner while remaining happy and fulfilled can be challenging.

I’ve worked very closely with my husband for over 24 years.  Here are 5 simple tips that can help you strike the right balance and succeed as both marital and business partners.

  1. Respect each other no matter what: We don’t always see eye to eye, but we always respect each other. It’s important for us both to recognize that we each bring our own unique skills, talents, and strengths to the business… and to the marriage. to be clear, I do voice my own opinion; no one can ever mistake me for a pushover.  But, I also recognize that there are times when I need to trust in my partner’s discretion and judgment.
  1. Put my ego aside: Whether you’re at home or in the office, it is critical to put your ego aside and do whatever is best for the situation. No good has ever come when I let my pride rear its ugly head during a discussion with someone I love and respect.
  1. Leave business at the office; never discuss work at home:  At times, we have broken this rule.  Every time, without fail, we find our selves in an argument that could have easily been avoided had we merely waited to discuss the issue during office hours.  This simple rule helps us stay healthy and balanced both as individuals and as a couple.  Plus, the children really deserve our undivided attention when we are at home…and even “thinking” about work can be a big distraction from what should be the most rewarding part of our lives …family time.
  1. Stay unified: Whether we are with the children, our family members, or the office staff, we ALWAYS maintain a unified front…regardless of whether we actually agree or not.  Thus, it’s critical to meet regularly and ensure we are rowing the boat in the same direction and in unison.  Two is stronger than one!
  1. Prioritize date night: Date night must always be a priority.  Although we do sometimes discuss work during date night, we confine any business-related discussions to “positive” or “creative” issues at work.  We NEVER discuss money, finances, or each other’s mistakes during date night.

Starting and running a business together is not for every couple. However, if you and your partner can observe a few simple boundaries, you’ll find that running a business with your spouse will greatly draw you closer together and keep you growing in the same direction.  Plus, we ALWAYS have something to talk about.

Love makes everything possible. We have been on this exciting entrepreneurial roller coaster for the past two decades and I can’t wait to see what the next twenty years have in store for us.  I wish you the same or greater success in all of your relationships and business ventures.

Original content by Nellie Akalp on Huffington Post.