Working with your partner within a business can be one of the most challenging, and most rewarding things that you’ve ever done together.
If you are thinking about working with your partner (either by hiring them part time or going into business with them as equal partners) there are some things you’ll want to be aware of.
At best, working with you partner is massively fulfilling and only serves to deepen the strength of your relationship. They naturally fill in the gaps in your business and you both feel supported and appreciated.
At worst, the added stress of working with your partner and being in close proximity to them 24/7 puts a strain on your relationship. With the potential for missed deadlines, unmet expectations, and communication issues abound, working with your partner could have the potential to drive a wedge between the two of you if you don’t navigate the journey with intentionality.
So how do you make working with your partner work for you?
By following these simple, road-tested tips, working with your partner will only serve to strengthen the romantic connection you feel with them.
1. Forget About Work Life Balance
If you go into your working relationship expecting that work will be work, and time away from work will be totally work-free, you’re being delusional.
As any entrepreneur knows, the lines between work and life are constantly blurred and work is bound to poke it’s nose into your daily activities somehow. Whether you get struck by a lightning bolt of a new, amazing idea to implement in your business while having a romantic dinner, or a client crisis eats up an hour of your vacation away, these distractions are bound to happen at some point.
Having a flexible and understanding partner is one part of the equation, but having a partner that is involved in the business with you will make them that much more interested in the event.
So, yes, while you should certainly avoid bringing your laptop or cell phone to bed and completely obliterating your work-life balance and boundaries, just know that it’s inevitable that something will come up, and that your relationship will be stronger for having gone through the challenges together.
2. Define Your Roles Clearly
When you decide to start working with your partner (no matter the size of the commitment) it’s imperative that you clearly map out your individual strengths and weaknesses and then clearly define what your individual roles will be.
The more clear you are about what each of you does from the outset, the less likely it will be that you end up arguing over who was supposed to do which task further down the road.
You inevitably end up wearing multiple hats in any business operation, but make sure that once you have defined what your individual roles are that you trust your partner to do their duties, and to not hover over their shoulder as they do them. Show them that you trust them by giving them the space they need to excel in their tasks.
3. Praise And Appreciate Your Partner
Just like any employee or contractor that you’ve ever had, your parter will respond well to being praised and recognized for a job well done.
Whatever gets rewarded gets repeated. Whether you praise the daily small things or mutually celebrate the larger milestones, taking the time to recognize all that you appreciate about your partners work efforts will go a long way.
4. Keep Dating Them
We’ve all heard that you shouldn’t dip your pen in the company ink, but you totally should if the ink belongs to your partner.
Make sure that you have time away from your business where you remind your partner that you don’t just see them as a valuable asset to the businesses success, but that you also see them as a delicious sexual being that you’re in love with.
Take your partner on (at least) a few dates per month outside of the home to keep the spark alive.
Whether it’s something as small as taking a stroll around the city while licking ice cream cones, or lighting up some candles and having an all-night, distractions free sex romp, make sure that your relationship is still thriving when it isn’t tangled up in business talk.
5. Have Weekly Founders Meetings
As fulfilling as working with your partner is, there are bound to be an increased number of things that you could potentially argue about as you both work towards expanded business success. If these little things get swept under the rug they have the potential to grow into bigger bits of resentment.
To ensure that the little things don’t fester into big blow-ups, have weekly founders meetings where you clear the communication channels.
No matter how insignificant the little things might seem, take them out from underneath the proverbial rug and hold them up in the light. Make sure that all of the mildly hurt feelings are addressed so you can both say what you need to say to get back to being a loving, honest couple.
Fail to do this frequently and you run the risk of letting insignificant tiffs (“Why didn’t you re-fill the stapler like I asked you to!?”) topple your business… or, more importantly, your relationship!
Working With Your Partner Works Well
While bringing up it’s own set of unique circumstances, working with your partner really is one of the most rewarding things you could do in your relationship.
There’s nothing quite like the “Us vs. The World” mindset that being in a business partnership with your partner automatically affords you.
Go into the process with clear, open communication channels and you’ll make working with your partner work without any hassles. I believe in you!
Dedicated to your success,