By Mike Michalowicz
Launching your first (or subsequent) entrepreneurial endeavor is not an easy task. No way. No how. Add a spouse into the mix, and the challenge is even greater. But if your pull it off, the
reward can be even greater. If you are committed to going into business with your spouse (or significant other) this is the strategy to have your business grow and your relationship thrive:
1. Talk is Cheap - Just because you and your spouse say that you are going to keep the marriage and the business separate, doesn’t mean you will. In fact, you can’t. Entrepreneurialism is a 24 x 7 vocation. The key to succeeding is to first acknowledge that there is no way to completely separate the marriage and the business. The only thing you can do is emphasize one more than the other at any given time. Once you understand this, do everything you can to emphasize balance.
2. Prepay for Your Time as a Couple - Instead of talking a good game about your business/personal life balance, set up a committed strategy to make it happen. The work part is usual easy (hint – work your butt off). The important part is to keep the personal time rolling by scheduling time for each other. But don’t just schedule a date night once a week, force it to happen. Possibly have a limo pick you up, or get tickets to the local movie theater. If it is on the schedule, and you prepaid for it… chances are you will stick to it.
3. Take Separate Vacations – I’m not suggesting that all or even most of your vacations are separate, but I am stating that once a year you both must get some leisure time alone. Spending every waking moment with someone else can get kinetic. Let the hubby go hang with the boys for a week, and let wifey chill with the girls for a week. You’ll return refreshed and with stories to share.
4. Communication is Useless… if it is in the wrong language. When it comes to business, make sure you are exploiting your independent and unique strengths. Don’t waste your time trying to “explain” what you do, or worse have your significant other actually try to do it, if it is not their area of strength. This will just lead to stress and misunderstanding. The same is true with your personal time together. Make sure you are expressing your affection in a language that the other understands. (I highly recommend that you read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It will make you a better communicator with your spouse for sure, but also with your friends and business acquaintances).
5. One Man Band – Nothing is more confusing or frustrating for employees than not knowing who’s in charge. When it comes to running your company, you must have one person be the clear leader. The final decision rests with them for all matters. Should there be a disagreement among the spouses, it is only to be discussed privately. Then the one leader will announce the final decision and lead the charge. If you both try to lead, no one will lead.
For more about Mike Michalowicz and his new book, visit his Website