Couplepreneurship is the holy grail of entrepreneurship. It is the ultimate test of a couple’s relationship, which is why it’s so important to take good care of your partnership.
Starting a business with your significant other can be an exciting and rewarding experience—kudos to you for taking this huge step! You have immense trust in each other and probably know the other person better than themselves, which makes it a perfect partnership to grow your own brand and build a dream life together. However, maintaining a relationship with someone who is your business partner and also your loved one is harder than you think. First off, you see each other most likely every single day or even 24/7, and frictions might arise more often. At times of arguments and disagreement, it can be tricky to keep things professional and not take things personally. And we know—sometimes, the lines between your personal and work lives are just blurred.
For my fellow couplepreneurs (or couplepreneurs-to-be), we all hope to grow a successful business and maintain your love life together. Before we share our tips to help you achieve that, let’s take a look at some signs which indicate that it’s time to make more effort on your double partnerships:
- when there’s a lack of communication;
- when one person is making more business decisions and dismissing the opinions of the other person;
- when you are stressed and arguing with your partner because they aren’t sharing the workload;
- when you spot that your partner is less invested in your business and/or romantic lives; and
- when your relationship starts to feel like work, rather than being happy together.
Couplepreneurs have a lot on their plate, and we know how much energy it takes to strike a balance. Here are five ways that couples can keep their relationships thriving while they run a successful business together!
1. Communication is the key
We all know how important communication is when it comes to all sorts of sustainable relationships. However, we might not realize we are talking to each other less often—especially with someone we are so close to that we assume they would understand our thoughts. Sometimes, we just need to remind ourselves that talking things out and staying open-minded is key when trying to maintain a relationship while co-running a business. When things get tricky or frustrating in a relationship or in business, talking about them can help solve the arising problems and generate new solutions before they get out of control.
You can do this by checking in with each other regularly to make sure that you’re still on the same page when it comes to the direction of your business and your tolerance for risk. Set some ground-rules with one another about which decisions (such as inventory purchases or new business collaborations) need to be made as a team and which you’ll be able to work out on your own.
Remember: the secret sauce to successful couplepreneurs is putting your minds together when resolving conflicts to creative joint solutions!
2. Start slow and steady
Starting a business is an exciting time for most people, so it’s easy to get swept up in the idea of doing everything at once. There are millions of business decisions that both of you need to make and agree on to get the company running smoothly. Hence, don’t be too aggressive in the beginning; rather, go slow and try to understand each other’s thought- and decision-making processes. This can help you both work your way up more efficiently over time.
3. Keep the romance alive
Yes—we know you want to devote as much as you can to building a great business with your partner. However, don’t forget that it takes effort and time to keep the romantic sparks alive as well. Taking some time off, signing up for a romantic dinner or a weekend trip—these small gestures of love will help keep your love life fresh and exciting; it can also help eliminate stress at work. It may be hard to make quality couple time for each other when both of you are working so hard, but it’s worth the effort in the end. Most importantly, try to minimize business-related conversations during your precious couple time!
4. Be clear about your roles and responsibilities
When you decide to step into the business world, especially as a couple, it is important to define each of your roles and responsibilities. Based on your strengths and interests, you can each manage different departments, which will also be helpful to avoid conflicts. Besides, you will get the best out of your shared business by making decisions independently without interfering too much in each other’s roles. Of course, this also takes mutual respect for each other’s contribution and expertise to work out. Therefore, establish clear guidelines about what tasks you will handle each day so that there won’t be unnecessary conflicts between friends/business partnerships.
5. Opt for outside opinions and guidance
It can be easy to become smitten with the idea of being a couplepreneur. In fact, it is often part of why people decide on embarking on that course. Yet, couplepreneurship is not for everyone, and most experts agree there are several important areas of running a business in which one must have strong external support. The best way to ensure this level of success is through forming an advisory board or hiring consultants. These are the people who will provide both objective feedback and can ensure employees feel safe about voicing any concerns they may have about the leadership team.
Building a brand is hard work, but no one is more invested in the outcome than your significant other. Successful couples have learned what works for them and are willing to put in the time and effort to maintain a healthy relationship. Hopefully, these tips can help keep your relationship strong and your business afloat.
Header image courtesy of Freepik