When people find out I am in business with my husband, the typical response is a sympathetic smile and some mutterings about how tough it must be, followed quickly by how it’s something they’d NEVER DO. Of course, I completely understand where they’re coming from. For many couples working a business together, the feeling is more like, “yeah, right” than “oh yeah!”. But, in my experience, with the right practices and foundations in place, running a business with your spouse is actually one of life’s most amazing experiences.
In all honesty, one of my daily gratitudes is that Rob and I are a happily married couple, living and working together in our business – even on the days he really ticks me off! Anyone who’s been in business for any length of time would acknowledge that owning your own business is one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences anyone can undertake. When you undertake this challenge with your partner, both the challenges and the rewards are amplified!
What we’ve created for ourselves and our clients didn’t happen by accident. Nothing truly worthwhile was ever achieved without effort. However, no matter what state your business or your marriage is in at this moment, these perspectives will help you move to where you truly want your business and your marriage to be. These insights, perspectives, experiences and learnings were gained over the last 14+ years from our own business and marriage as well as working with the businesses of many other couples.
Are you and your partner working towards the same vision for your future? Are you sure?
You may think you are, but in our experience, we find that very few couples are actually moving in the same direction. Most couples are often unknowingly pulling the relationship and the business apart. Whilst it’s highly unlikely the two of you want the same things, you both need to be clear about where you’re headed and why you’re going there.
Farrah Gray says, “build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” So how clear are the two of you on exactly what dream you’re building together? The uncomfortable truth is that if you both haven’t committed to a joint dream – one of you is using the other to build your own dream.
However, when you are both on the same page, and committed to the joint vision of your future, every single effort you put into the business is multiplied by the efforts of the other. It’s the ultimate ‘fast lane’ pass to getting what you want!
Rob and I are different. We’ve got a different skill set, different life experiences, different life priorities, different beliefs, different habits and patterns of behaviour and different personalities. In the beginning, those differences were what attracted us to each other. As our relationship matures, those differences, at times, actually create conflict, frustration and even genuine dislike for each other.
However, from the work we’ve done on ourselves, we actually can see that our differences are our greatest strength as a couple. We use these differences to add value to our clients’ lives and businesses. I typically have more of the business and strategy perspective whereas Rob intimately understands people and what drives behaviour. Our clients regularly tell us how much they appreciate our different perfectives when helping them with the situation they are facing. What I’ve come to learn over the years is that individually we’re good, but together we’re great!
So many people say to me, “I could never work with my partner, we’d fight all the time”. Yes, Rob and I have some, let’s say, very purposeful and heated discussions at times. We are both passionate people, highly invested in what we do, and full of our own opinions about what’s ‘right’ or ‘best’. Herein lies the essence of why running a business with your spouse is truly amazing. The ultimate value for Rob and I in running our business together as husband and wife, is fast-tracking own personal development.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s quote sums this idea up perfectly.
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life”.
By living and working together that mirror reflection burns even brighter. I’m eternally grateful that by living and working with Rob my journey of uncovering the best Faye Caughey is sped up.
So, there you have it. Three reasons why being in business with your spouse is actually amazing. Working from these perspectives over the years reinforces my belief that not only is running a business together possible, but it’s the very reason our business (and marriage) has thrived over the last 14+ years.
Contact us if you’d like to know more about how to bring these perspectives into your business and marriage. Or if you’re ready for better, you can find out more about our Married in Business program here.
Download your copy of Post-COVID19 Business Strategy Checklist.
What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.