I recently made a big announcement on The Creative Goddess blog that my husband and I are collaborating and working together on a new project. While we were discussing working together I did some research on ways we could make it a more successful process. I thought I’d share some of the things I learned.
One of the first things to do is to be sure that you can work together in other areas of life first. How do you work together when it comes to raising children, maintaining your home or garden? Do you rarely argue about the family budget, where to spend your vacation or which side of the family to visit during the holidays? If you get along well during the mundane parts of life as well as the parts that can be highly stressful then working together might work well for you.
Check your commitment status. It’s one thing to be married but another to be married and working together in business. Do you have what it takes to stick it out during the difficult times? Being in business together can be wonderful but it won’t be all rainbows and unicorns. Are you committed to the marriage and the business no matter what comes along?
Do you have a good track record when it comes to working through disagreements? Married people often disagree but married people who also work together have the potential to disagree even more often. Are you and your spouse good at working through disagreements, do you compromise well and are you willing to forgive? Do you have a knack for knowing when to talk and when to allow someone some space? Sometimes the best way to work though a difficulty is to give your partner time and space to sort things out for themselves.
Know what your job is. Each marriage is different. In one marriage he always does the dishes and in another she always does the dishes. Will you be dealing with all of the incoming email, the accounting or the product development? If neither one of you are in charge of the email it could leave a lot of unanswered correspondence – which could mean lost income.
Communication. I have found that unmet expectations are often at the heart of disappointments or disagreements. Do you have the same expectations for a project? It might be a good idea to discuss what you want the outcome to be before the project gets started so that you are both on the same page. If things aren’t going according to plan then take a few minutes to stop and re-evaluate before proceeding. It can save a lot of heartache if you and your business partner have similar expectations for the outcome of a project.
Don’t forget to play. Working together full-time can set a couple up for having no downtime. Make sure to get out and do fun things together. Don’t forget to do things separately with your friends too. You don’t have to be together 24/7 just because you work together and are married. Make sure you each foster and care for your individual friendships. It will be good for your marriage and your business.
Those are just a few of the questions you might want to ask yourself before going into business with your spouse or significant other. I’m sure I’ll have updates and insight to share as we embark on our own business together.
Have you ever thought of going into business with your spouse or partner? What kind of a business would you have and what do you think some of the pros and cons would be?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess
You can find more of Vicki’s article right here on her profile page!