Relationships are hard. They take work, dedication, and require the effort of both parties involved. Entrepreneurship is hard too, for many of the same reasons. Both are often the love of your life, just separated into two different categories. But many of us choose to go into business with our partners, for so many reasons it would be an entirely different blog post. We have to take special precautions to keep our lives running smoothly, both at work and at home. If you’re struggling keeping your personal relationship alive with each other, you might be slacking off in the areas below.
- Define roles. At home, you can absolutely get away with who does the laundry today, dishes tomorrow, cooking, cleaning, etc. But at work, you each have positions and jobs to do. Don’t assume that you’ll each take turn taking care of things. Just like you would in a job without your partner, hold yourself and your spouse accountable for your job duties. As owners and partners, you must differentiate your roles just as you do with the rest of your employees.
- Give each other space. Just because you work together doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. Giving yourself and your partner your own time, away from each other, to get your tasks done is essential for your sanity. This will eliminate or keep personal conversations to a minimum. It sets you apart as individuals in your business and allows you to focus on your work effectively. Doing this also helps create specific work and non-work time, because we all know the two must be separated.
- Communicate. This sounds silly, but it’s something we often find difficult to do. Even if you spent all day together working on the same project, make sure to spend some time at home asking your partner how their day went. Pretend like you haven’t seen them, because chances are you each have something to share after you’ve left the office and replayed the day’s events. Keep all lines of communication open to establish the fundamental trust that’s needed in both romantic and business partners. Be supportive without criticizing and then make sure that once your “work” discussion time is over, you communicate about your personal lives.
Going into business with your partner can be one of the most rewarding and exciting things you ever do in your life, but it can also be one of the things that tears you apart if you aren’t smart and open about it. Communication and establishing roles can be especially difficult for new couples or new entrepreneurs, but it’s essential to keeping egos at bay and trust constant. If you’re having trouble in any of these areas, there’s no shame in seeking the appropriate help to make sure you’re both well on your way to personal and entrepreneurial success.