Save Your Marriage, Save Your Business
Professional success works on the same principles as personal success. To thrive and prosper together, you need a set of guidelines to make everything work—your marriage and your business. Running a business with your spouse adds some additional complexities.
Business growth puts a strain on any entrepreneur. Whereas, couples can find business partnership will increase tension. Because you both are deeply involved in the business, you share the joys. However, you also discover the challenges can easily strain your relationship.
Prevention is easier than intervention. The basic principles of working together can cause your relationship to thrive while your business grows. The best time to set some ground rules in place is before a crack develops in your relationship or your business suffers because there’s tension between the two of you.
Running a business with your spouse has ups and downs. Full commitment to your partnership, in and out of work, leads to long lasting success. Communication and trust issues contribute to 60% of all husband and wife businesses failing. As a therapist turned business coach, I help them navigate through the challenges.
Guidelines for Running a Business with Your Spouse
Set guidelines to keep things running smoothly. Then follow them to prevent strain on your relationship as you grow your business.
- Set boundaries. Determine who is in charge of what. It’s possible to be the boss at work and the partner at home. Keep in mind that your partner doesn’t want to be micromanaged. Remain open-minded to your partner’s suggestions. When it is your area of responsibility, you have the final say…and so do they in their area.
- Commit to the business. Periodically check in with your partner. Are you fully committed to running a business with your spouse? Do you both still feel the fire of being in business together? Doing something out of obligation or expectation contributes to resentment. Avoid that by ensuring you both remain fully committed.
- Define your roles. Focus on each other’s strengths as you define your roles. Your shared vision allows you to work independently by focusing on the skills you give to the business. Although overlap sometimes happens, do you best to maintain clear boundaries.
- Respect and trust your partner. Because you will not always see eye to eye, setting boundaries helps you reduce conflict. It’s never okay to throw things at each other out of anger. Don’t become one of the 60% that fails due to low trust and poor communication. Allow the trust you develop in your personal relationship to flow over into your business.
- Hold team meetings. Even if it’s just the two of you, hold scheduled business meetings with agendas. Make notes on what you covered. Stick to the agenda. Scheduled meetings sets the focus for the rest of the week.
As a couple you may enjoy the free flow of minds that brought you together, but your business requires guidelines and protocol when you are on “business time.” As entrepreneurs with so much responsibility, it’s easy to blur the lines. Being clear about your business roles and how the business works then allows you to take a break and enjoy your personal time together.
Your Couple Commitment
Running a business with your spouse isn’t all work and no play. To remain happily married the two of you need to nurture your marriage as well as the business. Business concerns can easily creep into personal time. To prevent the business overwhelming your marriage, make a commitment to keep your marriage flame burning bright.
- Schedule fun time together. Remain a happily married couple. You deserve to enjoy each other’s company. Couples in business together sometimes forget to schedule fun activities that have absolutely nothing to do with your business. Go out together—dinner, a hockey game, hiking—whatever the two of you enjoy doing.
- Delight your partner. Do something unexpected for your partner. The surprise and thoughtfulness will be highly appreciated. Steve and I periodically go out for lunch together, although it wasn’t planned. Those un-planned lunches together are special.
- Deep conversation. Set work aside to enjoy conversation with your spouse. The listening is as important, if not more important, than the talking. People crave to be heard.
- Take a break. Some couples need breaks from each other. Couples who work together for long hours may need time apart. Go do something you love. Also, encourage your spouse to step away and do something fun.
Your marriage will be more resilient if you both nurture it. This tips the odds of successfully running a business with your spouse in your favor.
The Balancing Act that Impacts the Bottom Line
Create a business partnership where you both thrive. Happily married couples know their relationship requires constant attention. They’re not willing to sacrifice their marriage for the sake of their business.
Growing your business is full of challenges. Focus, boundaries, and attention will enrich your partnership and nurture your business. Couples in business together who follow these guidelines will grow together instead of growing apart.
Happily married couples in business together are committed. They realize running a business with your spouse means navigating through the ups and downs. My complementary private strategy session will help you cool the hot spots. Schedule yours now.