Being in business together with your life partner could add pressures of running it to your relationship.
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You’re reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
This artical was co-written with Alex Gheordanescu, Advisor, Concerto TIC.
Entrepreneurship is equally a wonderful and complex world, which often resembles a roller coaster ride that challenges your emotions. Beyond that, it brings to the surface a resilient individual.
The thought of embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is in itself overwhelming, since often we don’t know how the story will unfold, and it can feel quite intimidating when taking this leap as a couple, because we simply don’t want to disrupt the safe space of the relationship with our loved one.
That being said, it certainly is not an impossible endeavor, and starting a business together with your significant other can prove to be an exciting and delightful experience, that, in turn, strengthens the bond between the two. How can you manage to balance both worlds? Here are a few tips for couples that are looking to build a business together.
1/ What comes first: business or personal life?
Naturally, both worlds will be interconnected as you will need to support one another by sharing viewpoints and consulting on strategies, projects, and initiatives. This could happen while enjoying a romantic dinner, or when away on holiday, and yet never interfere with relaxing personal moments as a couple. What is crucial here is to recognize when business talk takes over your personal life completely, particularly in the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey, where the passion and drive to build a solid foundation can lead to a 24/7 focus on it.
If you do start to see this happen, make sure you set aside some time to switch off, whether that means playing a video game, being absorbed by the storyline of a blockbuster movie, or experiencing new cuisines with friends. Apart from this, learning to respect one another’s own moments, which we all need at times, be it simply to self-reflect, or to pursue our hobbies, is vital in any partnership.
2/ When business gets personal
In any work environment, teams are shaped by the bonds between their individual members. Proper communication is key to build a foundation of trust, and to unleash performance. But even in the most cohesive teams (as we all have our personal views and ideas that are derived from different backgrounds, career experience, and areas of expertise), disagreements could arise, and if not managed properly, they could lead to unproductive tension.
When starting up and leading a business as a couple, the emotional involvement is even stronger, and you will need to learn to separate the business emotions from your personal feelings. This means that we need to be open to constructive criticism, and when our opinions clash, always approach the situation in a professional manner. Keep pride and ego aside, and when presenting any plan to your partner, put it forward the same way you would do in any business environment or board meeting.
3/ Business as the extension of an already existing partnership
Partnerships revolve around harnessing the strengths, skills, and abilities of two different entities, united by a common purpose. Realize that both your capabilities and mindsets will complement one another, and that they will always enable you to improve your strategic approaches. Laying out your business plan and clearly defining your roles and responsibilities, based both on expertise and interest, will really assist in building on the business partnership.
The two of you will notice that your productivity and creativity levels function at different paces in different environments. For example, one of you may work better in the early mornings in a quiet meeting room, while for the other, it could be midday in a buzzing co-working space. One can have strong business acumen, while the other excels in communications and building business relationships. Understanding and respecting these differences will allow you to be more efficient with your time, more effective in making decisions, and building on the business progression.
Being in business together with your life partner could add pressures of running it to your relationship, particularly from a financial standpoint; hence, don’t forget to learn how to fail together. Any entrepreneurial journey has its ups and downs, and so it is important to overcome challenging moments, as it is to celebrate achievements and milestones along the way. Above all, have a good laugh whenever you have a chance to do so.
Related: The How-To: Family Relationships In A Business Setting