If you speak to anyone who has a business with their spouse, they would tell you it is not for the weak. I have been in business with my husband for over 13 years. There were many times I wanted to throw in the towel. Differences in opinions and ideas caused many arguments. We had to learn how to work together. It took many, many years, but we are at a much better place today.
In this week’s blog, I want to share with you 5 ways you can grow a better relationship and a more successful business while working with your spouse.
1. Go for a dinner date to get clear on your goals
It is a good idea to get away from your normal environment when you are making big decisions or setting goals. It helps you to be more creative, and you will be more relaxed. Oftentimes, the familiarity with life routines may cause you to get stuck. That is when the goals you have set months or years before as a couple need to be revisited. Look back at what you were working towards, and what is working now. Whatever is not working is what should be discussed. If it is necessary, set new goals and talk about ways you can work together to achieve it.
2. Know when to stop talking about business
Working together has its perks because your partner is always around to bounce ideas off of, and decisions can be made faster. However, it is important to create healthy boundaries surrounding discussions. In the early years of our business, we would wake up talking about business and go to bed talking about business. This caused our entire life and relationship to be only centered around business. It became more difficult to have conversations about anything else. Come up with a time, let’s say 4pm, when all talk about business ends.
3. Work independently of each other
Each partner has their strengths and weaknesses. In our business, I handle all the paperwork like quotations, invoices and filing. My husband is the face of the business. So he does the deliveries, goes to meetings and seeks new clients. Now, that is not to say I can’t handle his roles if I have to, and vice versa. I remember doing deliveries while being 8 months pregnant, driving a manually geared pickup! It just works better and faster when we are in our lane. The risk of mistakes also decreases. Early in our business, we used to do everything together. We realized that it is a better use of time to work independently as more gets done.
4. Take breaks together (and away from each other)
Plan to take a break from the business together. Take a weekend at a local boutique hotel, or a few days out of the country. Travel expands your minds every time. New ideas can be conceived (sometimes children too! lol). We try to do this every quarter as our schedules allow. Now, I love my husband, and I know he loves me, but there are times when we just need a break from each other. Being together constantly can cause so much familiarity, that you no longer experience “newness” as a couple. Everything becomes a routine and mundane. So, it is highly recommended to have some time apart. Whenever we do that, there is a spark that ignites when we are together again.
5. NEVER allow outside forces to penetrate your relationship and business
When you decided to be together, get married and have a business, two became one. That means that you have committed to each other’s success for your lives and for your business. As individuals, you may have different mentors and persons you listen to for direction and advice. You may want to act on the advice independently of your partner. This can cause disagreements and is not healthy. If you received advice you think would benefit the relationship or business, be sure to discuss it with your partner. Not all advice is sound, and may not be applicable to you both at that moment. Take the time to talk about it. If you both have a gut feeling that the advice will help, then by all means, plan. However, if one of you has some doubts, or something does not sit right, that usually is a signal to pause and reflect. Outside forces can penetrate a relationship that is not sound. Make your decisions as one unit. That is where the real breakthroughs happen.
These were just some of the steps my husband and I took to grow our relationship and business. I may consider doing an entire class on this topic, as there are many more things I’d love to share.
I hope this was helpful to you.
Leave me a comment below. Which one of these steps stood out to you the most?