You may or may not know that my husband and I own our own business. We work together on a daily basis and in the beginning it was super challenging, but over the years (we’ve been in business since 2016) I’ve learned quite a few things about how to make it as pleasurable as possible.
Respect each other.
You married your spouse for a reason. You obviously know they’re an amazing person. Working together means you have way more control over your lives and get to spend plenty of time together, but with all that time sometimes you start to notice areas where your spouse falls short or could do better. During these times it’s so important to be respectful of each other. Maybe your way isn’t the best way. Maybe their way is working just fine. You’ve both got great ideas worth hearing, so listen with an open mind and see what you can learn from each other and be patient (especially if your spouse asks a million questions like mine does!).
Play to your strengths.
Know what you’re good at and what your spouse is good at and do it! Of course in business there are times when you have to do things that you don’t like or aren’t good at. This is the time when teamwork and a great attitude make all the difference.
Be honest with yourself and with each other.
Are you really working as hard or putting in as much effort as your letting on? Speak up when you need help or are feeling frustrated, and let your partner know your needs. Real talk: I really struggle talking to people, and I lied to myself and my husband so many times about my ability to make twenty cold calls a day. It was not easy for me. I promised I’d do better over and over again but had constant anxiety and made up so many excuses. It really hurt our business and our bank accounts. As soon as I was honest about how much I was struggling we were able to hire someone to do that task for us and our relationship (and business) thrived again.
Don’t be lazy.
We both work constantly. At the end of the day both of us usually want to crash but sometimes there are still things to be done. Don’t let your spouse do it all alone night after night.
Ask how you can help.
This one took a little for me to learn. I’m pretty efficient with my time, but when you’re a two person team, it’s important to realize the work isn’t done until you’re both finished. The best way to know if your partner needs help is to ask!
Don’t always talk about work.
This one was really hard for us. In the beginning, we had no balance and we were always working. I remember taking calls and scheduling appointments when we were supposed to be on vacation. We didn’t focus on our relationship or each other. It was all about the business. At dinner we’d talk about business and respond to emails. Again, our relationship suffered until my husband decided to make it a priority to treat me like his wife more than his coworker.
Trust each other.
Both my husband and I are very competent. We both have backgrounds where we were in charge of large groups of people that required constant supervision. It was difficult in the beginning to realize that we didn’t have to do that with each other. Every video I’d make he’d check before it went live to make sure it was okay, and I’d constantly be worried that he was arriving late to appointments. It was exhausting. Once we learned to trust and depend on each other it was so much easier.
Be on the same page.
We like to be on the same page literally. We write our goals on sticky notes and put them on our bathroom mirror so we can both focus on the big picture on a daily basis. When we don’t have a goal we tend to wander aimlessly, but when our goal is clearly written down we smash it.
CJ and I will set goals, and I like to inflate them. He’s always a littler nervous when I set big goals for us, but we’re a power couple and anything we set our minds to we can achieve. We’ve proven it over and over again. There’s nothing more rewarding than smashing a goal that seemed big and scary to begin with.
Admit if it’s not working.
Sometimes the best thing for your relationship is to admit if you can’t work together and go your separate ways for the sake of your marriage. Sometimes two people aren’t passionate about the same things, and that’s totally okay. Sometimes it’s more important to have a separate stream of income for your family. Decide what is right for you both and enact it.
Working with our spouse can be a challenge, but it can also be extremely rewarding. We love the flexibility it offers us, and it’s so nice to have control over our schedules and our futures. Do you work with your spouse or another family member? What are some lessons you’ve learned in the process? If you have any questions about how we operate a thriving business as a team, don’t forget you can always Ask a Bestie!