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Working Together -- Being Together 24/7

Hints for Successfully Working With Your Spouse

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Photo: Luca di Filippo /iStockphoto
Photo: Luca di Filippo /iStockphoto
After working together more than a quarter of a century, we believe that being in business together can either make or break a marriage.

Here are some tips on how to work with your spouse to make both your marriage and your business partnership successful.

Working With Your Spouse Tips and Hints

  • You both need to have a sense of humor.
  • Work for common goals and set the ground rules of your business partnership in the early phases of your business partnership.
  • Agree to disagree at times. Be willing to make tough decisions together.
  • Eliminate power struggles or control issues.
  • Discuss your visions of business, family, and marriage so that together you can create a shared vision for your future. Have realistic expectations.
  • Allow one another space to be alone by having your own offices or separate corners, computers, etc.
  • Do not get uptight if one of you wants to take a walk alone, go shopping alone, etc.
  • Discover your individual strengths and weaknesses. Discuss how your strengths can complement one another and offset those things you are each not so great at accomplishing.
  • Do not compete with one another. You each have your areas of expertise. Appreciate each other's strengths and talents.
  • Trust that when one of you says you will do something, it will get done.
  • Divide your business responsibilities between the two of you but be flexible in who does what when there is a tight deadline or one of you doesn't feel well.
  • Start each day by sharing your expectations of the day with each other. This includes errand running, shipments that have to be sent out, phone calls that need to be returned, orders that need to be processed, inventory concerns, needing some time off or a break during the day, deadlines for articles to be written, e-mails that need answering, wanting to run to the hills to scream, looking at your calendar before scheduling appointments, etc.
  • Although you work together, you may work differently or have different body clocks. Be sensitive to your working style differences.
  • Consider networking your computers so you share a printer and have access to all the files.
  • When you get irritated with one another, look at the benefits of working together. The benefits include being able to share your day together, spending your time with someone you love and respect, and the many benefits for your children of having parents who enjoy being together.
  • Keep your work time and family time separate. Most couples who work together end up working longer hours than others who are self-employed, so it is important to set a schedule and try to stick to it.
  • Working together requires that you have good communication skills. Communication with one another is the key to being able to be with one another 24 hours a day. You also need to have respect for one another, and of course, trust.

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