When you create a business with your spouse, you have amazing possibilities for an exciting and fun adventure like no other kind of business partnership. Understandably, operating a business with your life partner is not for every couple. It requires the ability to effectively merge your business and personal lives, skilfully sharing power and responsibility, so that you have fun working together and enjoy being and living with each other every day, without having to compromise.
First and foremost, you must enjoy each other’s company and genuinely like being around each other. By no means is it easy. But if you do decide to do it, make sure you really like being with each other and you have a good relationship in the first place. Business partners in a personal relationship have to spend more time together than most couples.
Being in business together can either make or break a relationship, since the boundaries between work and life can blur, which can lead to additional pressure being put on your personal relationship. If you are considering running a business with your spouse, consider all the things you and your partner could be and do different that would allow you to operate the business together with total ease and joy.
The following tips may help set you up for success, both at home and at work.
Generate a shared-vision for your life and business partnership
Nothing derails a business like having business partners working in conflict with each other. One of the enormous advantages associated with being in business with your spouse is the support that you’re able to give each other. To thrive and flourish while working closely with your spouse, you must create a shared vision and formulate a generative strategy for your business and your life. A shared vision and a generative strategy will allow you to live and work together in an effective way that minimises conflict.
Agree on what both of you want to create as your reality
Consider what you want to create as your life and living, and tailor the business to fit your lifestyle. Put the priority on your marriage and relationship first and always make sure to spend quality time together once the business time is over. What will begin to generate the expansion of your success starts with both of you!
It is how you think about yourself, your partner, your circumstances, and all the possibilities that lie ahead. If you don’t believe that you can have a thriving business together then you won’t create it. There is no way possible for you to have success if you don’t believe that it is truly possible for you to have that. If you have a strong relationship, complementary skills and shared vision, creating a business together can be a very rewarding experience. Focus your energy on what’s really important. Each morning ask each other, “Where can we put our energy today? What’s the one thing we need to do today that will create the most value?” Then ask yourself, “What is the one thing that only I can do?”
Develop your strategy
Creating a thriving business involves knowing what you want from your business. What is really essential are your targets, both financial and non-financial, that you need the business to generate in order to have the kind of life you want to lead. To know what you want to create, you first need to take a step back and start asking – “What is it I really would like to create here? What is it I can create? What choices do I have?”
You can start your business strategy by outlining the key priorities of your business into the future. The first thing you do is have a clear knowledge of what you have to offer. Your strategy must provide the details of your business, including the services you offer, what you want to achieve, what does your business stand for, how you’ll differ from the competition, financial projections, marketing strategies, what specific objectives do you want to achieve – both short and long term.
Take stock of your current financial state
If you would like your business to be a principal source of income for you and your partner, then you must know how much money your business needs to generate so you can live the life you desire. There is no more essential precept for creating a thriving business than to start by taking stock of your finances. Be aware of everything that occurs in your life in the financial arena, as this information will provide you with awareness of what might need to change.
Continuously convey appreciation and gratitude
Be continually appreciative and grateful for your spouse’s gifts, skills, capacities and insights. Express the respect by acknowledging each other for a job well done and by not judging. Don’t take your partner for granted. In co-creation of a successful business there must be a sense that you create and generate your business together and each person is a contribution to the other.
Develop clear roles and responsibilities
It is essential to set clear positions about who will take on which tasks for the business. Nothing will diminish joy and enthusiasm faster than feeling your partner is not pulling his/her weight. Don’t interfere with your spouse’s responsibility. Refrain from telling your spouse how to do the job. Avoid second-guessing and micromanaging. Just focus on your own activities and accountabilities. Personal and business respect go hand-in-hand for a business and life partnership. You will likely lose respect for each other if you are consistently judging or take a fixed point of view about anything your partner does or doesn’t do or how your partner is or is not. This is the key to being able to be with one another 24 hours a day.
Communication with one another is the key to being able to be with one another 24 hours a day. Keep communication open. To have a strong business and personal relationship, both you and your partner must be willing to fine-tune and develop communication skills and learn to swiftly handle disagreements and conflict with care and awareness. You must be willing to talk to each other about things that are unpleasant. The key is to never confront with hostility and never try to make the other person wrong.
Be willing to make tough decisions together
To be successful at making tough decisions, both partners need to let go of conclusion and avoid the need to control outcomes. When you and your partner are able to let go of the need to control and are willing to be flexible with no fixed point of view, you will make decisions with a much greater level of efficiency. Try to minimise emotion when talking about important, big decisions. Avoid Arguments with One Simple Act: Listen with No Point of View.
Chutisa Bowman is a global business advisor, author and speaker who has spent the past 30+ years working with many top society changing companies and entrepreneurs of our time. She is recognized worldwide as a Pragmatic Futurist and thought leader on strategic awareness; conscious leadership; prosperity consciousness and business transformation in a period of economic uncertainty. She is a Right Riches for You facilitator. Right Riches for You is a speciality program of Access Consciousness.