We’ve got something fun to talk about today. If you are like us and you are running a business or working with your spouse, then you definitely want to read this.
One question we often get asked is how it feels to work together as a couple. Anyone who works with their significant other will know that it is no easy task at all especially since the challenges faced can begin to sip into the relationship and do more harm than good if caution isn’t taken. Thankfully, our experience and that of our friends who find themselves in a similar position, have taught us to navigate the waters better prepared to tackle any potential storm. Below are some of the ways in which we do so.
Define The Roles
If you’re going to be working with your partner on any project, it is important to define the role each party is going to play in order to sustain the project or business as the case may be. This allows for ownership and accountability. In some ways, it has to be fair so no party feels they are putting in more than the other. Everyone has to pull their weight as best as they can. In defining the roles, it is important to consider the skills of you and your partner and assign tasks accordingly. For example, David is great at dealing with administrative tasks while I’m good at coming up with creative ideas when it comes to our social media platforms as content creators. As such, we’ve assumed these roles to not only add value to our business but also save us time.
Consideration For Time
You’ll find out that time is a very important factor when it comes to working with your spouse especially if you’re both self-employed. You need to make sure that you have a schedule that doesn’t eat into your personal time as individuals and as a couple. As David also maintains a full-time job, this means that he can only offer a certain amount of his time to the business. And since he focuses on the key administrative tasks which don’t require daily immediate attention, it works out well for his schedule. And my available time when I’m done working on my own personal business as a life coach, also allows me to deal with my role, making sure to match David’s working schedule so that way we reserve time for ourselves and our family.
At some point in time, you have to consider hiring someone else to take on some roles in the business and take the pressure off of you and your partner especially when it comes to tasks that take up time but could be done by someone else. For example, we tend to deal with a lot of email collaboration enquiries. This is one task we’ve outsourced to an agent to manage on our behalf. That way we can focus on the tasks that we’re good at.
Sometimes you might even find that one party is much more passionate about the business than the other. If you notice this, you have to be careful not to force your ideas on your partner as it’ll eventually breed resentment. If you find your partner is not as keen on the business as you are, then definitely consider hiring someone else to work in the business while your partner explores other sources of income.
It goes without saying that communication is key when working with your spouse. This is an opportunity to deal with issues that arise within the business as well as set boundaries that don’t cross over into your relationships. It might be hard but an example here could be keeping work-related issues at work and not letting it roll over into your relationships. If you’ve had a disagreement at work, deal with it at work and resolve it so it doesn’t bring about a disagreement in your relationship at home. Likewise, if you have a disagreement in your relationship then deal with it in your relationship and don’t allow it to affect the way you work, in turn hurting your business.
Working with your partner can be challenging, but in defining the roles, considering time, communicating and seeking external assistance when needed, you can help create an environment that allows for your business and relationship to thrive.