If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “There is no bloody way I could work with my wife/husband – even though I love them to bits” – my entrepreneurial journey would have taken a very different path.
I frequently get asked about how Cecilia and I balance work and personal life whilst not driving each other nuts. So here are my two cents on how we work together successfully.
For starters, I love working with my wife. Enjoying working together is a key ingredient. We make each other better people and work together as a tight unit. However, being a tight unit doesn’t mean we do the same things. We have very different strengths and weaknesses and operate in a complimentary fashion working toward a common goal. As such, we don’t step on each other’s toes and usually have clear areas of responsibility. Competitive energy is always directed externally – except for games of Trivial Pursuit!
That leads me to the next point – Trust. Trust and respect are critical ingredients to any successful working relationship. If you have clear areas of responsibility and different strengths – you need to trust in your work mate that they will deliver. There is no-one else on the face of this planet that I trust or respect more than my wife.
To work successfully with you wife/husband you also need to be dynamic, flexible and leave your ego at the door. Whilst we might have clears areas of responsibility we don’t have clear rules or boundaries. This means, you’ve got someone who can always cover you/support you/or drive you toward better outcomes in the things you do. This looser structure means that you can work autonomously but support each other when you need to. Forget about not ‘talking shop’ at home – successful couples and business people communicate always.
Lastly, when you are in business with your wife or husband, it is very important that you share a similar appetite for risk. Differing risk profiles can lead to arguments at home about money and other such worries.
86% of millionaires in the US are married (click here for article) – but this doesn’t mean they necessarily work together professionally. However, it does mean that having someone else in your life that can support you through thick and thin, with a shared purpose, greatly enhances your chances of success (and in my opinion happiness).