I Do! How To Survive Business With Your Mate

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Working with a spouseBeing in business with your husband or wife can be a challenge. It can strain both the marriage and the company. But if done correctly, such a partnership can be very successful.

Make sure your personal relationship is strong before entering into business together. Opening a business together will not strengthen a bad personal relationship—in fact, it might just make it worse.

“My husband and I met 15 years ago, ironically in the workplace. Before dating, my husband was adamant on becoming friends before lovers. We built a fantastic friendship first. Most couples that are in business together have problems because of lack of communication. Also, they don’t share the same goals and visions, and they’re in each other’s space,” says Tasha Kornegay, who started the restaurant and candy store Oscar William Cotton Candy with her husband, William.

Have a serous discussion with your mate about your business expectations to make sure you are on the same page and are equally committed. If one person is giving 110 percent and the other 45 percent, it will cause friction and frustration.

Also, just because you are in business with your mate doesn’t mean you should take the partnership casually. Treat your mate like you would any other business partner. “Have a partnership agreement in place like any other business with partners. This is important to understand who does what and how it will be done,” advises relationship success expert Dawn C. Reid of Reid Ready Coaching, LLC.

To keep both the marriage and business running smoothly, there has to always be an avenue of communication. “This will help with misunderstandings,” Kornegay points out. “Learn and understand the triggers of your business partner/spouse and know when to go in your corner.”

Clearly define the roles each of you will play in the company. And respect each other´s roles.

It is also a good idea to have some separation. “Have separate offices and create your own workspace,” says Reid. And remember, business is business, personal is personal. “Separate your personal and professional life. What goes on at the office, stays at the office; vice versa for the home. For instance, resolve business issues in the office and home issues at home,” Reid points out. Adds James Brown, “Have a clear separation between responsibilities in marriage and business responsibilities.” Brown runs Health Collectors LLC. with his wife, Semaj.

Look for ways to lighten a stressful work environment. “De-stress by taking care of business during activities which are mutually enjoyable such as on a road trip, eating dinner, having a meeting after exercise, starting the day each day and ending the day in prayer,” offers Brown.

Remember, it´s not all business. Know when to take off your business cap. This is a must in order to enjoy your personal lives. “Don’t talk business all the time. Take time to enjoy one another outside of the framework of business and within the framework of your marriage,” shares Brown.