If you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re married, the chances of you ending up working with your spouse somewhere along the way is pretty high. Sometimes they’re directly involved with the company, other times they might simply be more of a support system or occasional “instagram husband.” Either way, working together can be an amazing way to spend extra time together…but it can also be…challenging.
My husband has a very full-time career of his own, but he’s also incredibly involved in helping me with the business whenever his schedule allows. In the two years that I’ve had this business, I can tell you that we’ve certainly shared some, ahem, MOMENTS. In all honestly, we love spending time together more than anyone I know, and we’ve gotten to be so good at working together. In the beginning though, we had our share of “I might strangle you” moments, so I thought I’d share my top three tips for killing the entrepreneurial game without killing your spouse.
1) Ensure they support your venture. If you feel like they aren’t supportive right now, that doesn’t mean “don’t start your business” or “stop what you’re doing” but it does mean that you need to get on the same page. You need to really dig into where they’re coming from because they just might have some good points for you to consider. Even if they don’t understand your ideas or don’t see the viability in them, they should support YOU and your drive 100% (if not that’s an entirely different conversation). Typically when I hear of couples not supporting each other’s ventures, it’s simply a case of not hearing out one another’s passions and concerns. So talk it out.
2) Give each other grace. When becoming a business owner, you tend to spend a lot of time (especially in the beginning) doing ALL of the things. Wearing all of the hats. Here’s the thing….there’s no way one person can be an expert at all the things. And when your spouse pops in to help (hello, showing their support!), there’s no way they can be perfect at ALL of the things either. I remember getting so frustrated with my husband when he didn’t know how to pose me for photos….um, he’s a nuclear engineer. Me expecting him to suddenly know how to help me pose for fashion photography was, well, insane. So be grateful for all the things each other can do effortlessly, and give each other grace for the things you’re trying to figure out as you go.
3) Laugh often. The best part of working with your spouse is that no matter how crazy wrong something might go, you’ve got your best friend there to laugh it off with you. At the end of the day, being an entrepreneur is all about building a life and a career that you’re passionate about, and if that doesn’t include a whole lot of laughter, then what’s the point?