Finding a perfect partner is difficult both when it comes to your love life and running a business.
If you’ve been lucky enough to find both in one person, you can enjoy all the benefits that such a fruitful relationship brings, including mutual trust, deeper understanding and profound knowledge about each other.
However, starting a business with your partner also comes with a fair share of challenges that may affect your personal and/or business relationship.
Therefore, it’s essential that you overcome obstacles together and work on building a strong relationship based on trust, support and open communication.
Every healthy relationship is built on open communication and, as Matt Cameron once said:
“no matter how much success you’re having, you can’t continue working together if you can’t communicate”.
When it comes to both your business and personal relationship, you need to know your partner’s expectations, needs, opinions and possible problems. The only way to achieve this is through open and honest communication with your other half.
You shouldn’t hesitate to share your feelings and tell your partner if something is bothering you. You should encourage your partner to do the same and offer support when they need it. This way, any possible issue can be solved before it becomes a serious problem.
Only then will you be able to ensure a stable future both for your family and company.
Respect and support
During your partnership, you and your spouse will have opposing ideas and opinions that may cause disagreement and even conflict.
The way you deal with these situations can greatly affect both your business and personal relationship. In such cases, you should remember the words of Fred Rogers:
“It’s very dramatic when two people come together to work something out. It’s easy to take a gun and annihilate your opposition, but what is really exciting to me is to see people with differing views come together and finally respect each other.”
Every time you and your partner disagree about something, you should respect each other’s opinions no matter how different they are and find a solution based on a mutual agreement.
In addition, you need to support and appreciate each other’s efforts so that every disagreement strengthens your relationship instead of weakening it.
Equal partnership and distinct responsibilities
You and your spouse should be equal partners in running your business.
None of you should feel superior or subordinate to each other.
However, this doesn’t mean that both of you should be in charge of the same aspects of your business.
Your responsibilities should be based on your skills and expertise, while important decisions should be made together as partners.
If it helps, you can even define each other’s roles in writing and list the responsibilities.
This way, both of you will be able to focus on what you do best and contribute to the development of your business, while protecting your personal relationship.
The separation of business and personal life
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges you’ll come across is keeping your professional and personal lives separate.
However, it’s absolutely essential that you have time when you’ll focus on yourselves as individuals and as life partners.
You should go on romantic dates, have dinners with your family and go out with your friends. Under no circumstances should you discuss business on your dates – this is the topic for a business meeting.
Of course, a complete separation won’t be always possible, which is perfectly acceptable as long as you make some time for yourselves.
A collision between personal and professional
Every relationship has its challenges and obstacles, but only the healthy and strong ones can overcome them.
Disagreeing with your partner is perfectly normal, however, it’s essential that you recognise when those disagreements and problems become more serious and start affecting your family or business. This is when you need to slow down, go on a vacation, talk things through and even consider counselling services in order to overcome the obstacle and bring balance back into your relationship both at home and work.
As Henry Ford once said:
“coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Running a business with your partner is certainly challenging but definitely not impossible. As long as you encourage an open communication, respect and support each other and keep your business and personal lives separate, no obstacle is insurmountable.
*** This Guest Post was from Isabel William ***
Isabel F. William Body & Mind Balance Consultant. Lover of literature and philosophy, every day runner, and Tai chi master. Believing that to travel sometimes is just enough to enjoy a really good book, smooth jazz and a cup of coffee.
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