Yes, it really is possible for marriage and business to co-exist.
Cheryl Snapp Conner GUEST WRITER CEO of SnappConner PR
As an entrepreneur, you might think business and love can’t mix. But there’s no reason couples can’t work together to create an extraordinary business. A trend that’s on the rise, there are more and more power couples emerging who are beating the odds and successfully running a business together.
That’s not to say that it’s easy. Working together every day and maintaining a strong relationship takes work, especially if you both have strong personalities. So how can a couple successfully work together without straining the relationship? If you’re looking to become the next Melinda and Bill Gates, the following tips might help:
Ensure you have good communication When working with your spouse, you need to maintain a good level of communication with one another. If you end up tip-toeing around each other, both your professional and personal relationships may erode. Upon returning to work after taking time off to be a full-time mom, Megan McKissen joined her husband Dustin in their corporate communications company McKissen & Co. in Bellingham, Wash.
She believes you need to be respectful, but tell your spouse when something is not right within the business. “Clear communication is important," Megan says. "If you’re upset with something as a coworker, but not as a spouse, clarify which role you’re speaking from. Failing to do that will cause a lot of unnecessary conflict.”
Related: Sincerity Is How Power Couples Maintain Intimacy While Working Together
By empathizing with one another and taking the time to talk every day, you’ll stand a better chance of being successful, both at work and at home.
Take time off
When you work together every day, there might be a risk of everything becoming about work. While it’s important to talk about work when you are, of course, working throughout the day, you don’t want every discussion you have to be about work. This is why it’s vital to also spend quality time together away from the workplace.
Related: 4 Secrets of Blissful Entrepreneurial Power Couples
Try to arrange a date night every week. This will keep your personal relationship on the front burner while giving you a break from the stresses the business might bring. Dustin sums it up like this: “A successful working relationship depends on a successful personal relationship. You can’t have peace at work and war at home or vice versa. Make your relationship a priority. Even if you’ve seen each other all day every day through the week, you need to make time for date night on the weekend.”
Keep it professional When you are working, however, it’s important to keep your relationship professional. If you fail to do so, your emotions will get in the way when it comes time to make challenging decisions within the business. Treat your partner like a work colleague. Make every important decision together while also recognizing your unique and individual strengths.
Related: These 10 Entrepreneurial Couples Share How They Make It Work in Both Business and Love
Of course, there should be a clear work-life balance. But when you’re in the office, both partners should have the same frame of mind — that your business is a top priority.
Express appreciation and celebrate the little things When working together, you should show appreciation for the little things throughout the day. If you have worked together to close a deal or acquire new business, show gratitude to your partner for what they have done. This respect is essential for your relationship and business to thrive.
If your spouse makes a move that benefits your business, such as successfully acquiring an order, celebrate it. By celebrating the small things together, you will make the workplace a lot more positive. It also shows you respect and appreciate all they do for the business. Your spouse will, in turn, follow suit.
Related: The Secret to Staying Married While Starting a Business
Sid Clevinger and Tiffany Tombs of Dallas, Texas run multiple businesses together and happen to be engaged. I reached out to find out how they make it work. ““Being in a relationship with a fellow entrepreneur is extremely fast-paced, as we are both consistently going all in on ourselves and our business," Clevinger said in an email. "We’ve each learned to leverage our own success to help the other see wins in the business as well.”