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The Do’s and Don'ts Of Running A Business With Your Spouse

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

Is running a business with your spouse really a smart idea?

They are already your life partner. But is making them your business partner healthy for your relationship?

When it comes to running a company with your life partner, people have different opinions. 

Some might say that mixing business with pleasure only leads to problems. Others might say that it couldn’t have been easier to have someone you already trust working with you. 

Well, both are true to some extent.

There are definitely risks and perks involved. It all comes down to how well you and your spouse communicate with each other.

At worst, couples could face ruining both their marriage and business. But successful execution of a plan would mean a lifetime of happiness and wealth. 

That’s what we’ll be diving into in this article. We will share the do’s and don’ts of running a business with your significant other. So if you’re already working with your spouse or thinking about it, this will be a good read for you.

Setting Your Expectations

Before you even think about running a business with your spouse, ask yourself this:

  • Am I happily married?

  • Are we financially stable?

  • Do we agree with each other’s work ethic?

These simple questions will help you determine whether you’re fit to run a business with your spouse. And if you answered “no,” you’ll need to focus on fixing that part of your relationship first.

It’s not ideal for you to start a business if you know that there will be many problems along the way. Especially if you’re broke – money fights are the second leading cause of divorce. To make sure you have the right start, you and your spouse will need to set some expectations. Both of you will need to plan out the pros and cons of working together before setting some ground rules.

Once the expectations are in place, there will be less uncertainty and more success.

DO: Share The Same Goals

Committing to running a business together is another significant step in your marriage. That’s why it’s important to share the same goals, vision, and drive. 

When you’re both on the same page, you’ll be able to do things independently of one another. You’ll learn to give each other personal space and to support one another. 

If you want your business and marriage to run smoothly, you’ll need a 50/50 mindset. That doesn’t mean both partners will have to do equal work for the business: it means having equal responsibilities in all other things as well. This could be caring for your family, cleaning, or cooking. 

When you split responsibilities 50/50, it’ll make you stronger as a team. You’ll understand your spouse better knowing what they’re going through. 

The benefits of using two heads instead of one are rewarding. You’ll become more grateful for the other person and won’t waste any precious couple-time once you have it.

But when things get tough, always remind yourself why you started a business in the first place. Refer to your goals with your spouse and stay passionate about them.

DON’T: Treat Each Other As Non-Professionals

You may be used to treating your spouse a certain way, but you’ll need to treat each other like professionals.

When you have professional boundaries with your spouse, you speak to each other at a higher level. You’ll have more respect for one another as both of you have the role of a leader. 

But if you treat your spouse more like your spouse, it’ll increase work pressure.

For example, a husband shouldn’t assume that his wife should spend more time with their kids while he works. That might make the wife feel more like a personal assistant instead of a leader in the business. Both partners have to become their own leaders and take charge of their own life.

Even when mistakes occur, be considerate and treat your spouse like a business partner. You’ll need to give them some space to work things out for the better.

And if you want to have peace of mind, you can always legalize your business arrangement. That way, each partner will sign a business agreement to protect the business’s interests.

Achieving A Work-Life Balance

If you know how to balance both work and personal life, your overall life will actually become easier than most couples.

Working together will be a breeze if you know how to balance and build boundaries.

Once your business becomes a success, you will get to enjoy the benefits. How does traveling the world together after hiring a team to work for you sound? 

To do that, you’ll need to understand how to keep your roles as a spouse and business partner separate. 

DO: Build Better Boundaries

Running a business with your spouse during the early stages can be tough and time-consuming. 

Depending on your situation, both of you will need to divide your time between work and family. When you’re with family, you should devote 100% of your time to them. When you’re working, you should also devote 100% to your business. 

These are the kind of boundaries you need to build for yourself. If you mix family with work time, you’ll build up stress. 

Giving 100% attention to each area will make you grow as a spouse and business executive. 

You’ll need to find a routine that works for you and your spouse – such as determining how many hours you should work. 

Most couples who succeed in business together know how to control their emotions. They separate work from personal life so that nothing gets in their way. 

DON’T: Bring Home The Stress

The worst thing you could do is to bring your work stress back home. The same goes for bringing arguments from home to work, too.

Being at home should be a time for you to relax and refresh your mind. But if you bring the stress home, it’ll just be never-ending work stress for you.

According to The American Institute of Stress, 83% of US employees deal with work-related stress.

You might forget to take care of your health. Or you could lose your identity by spending too much time away from enjoying your hobbies.

Allowing this to happen might pose serious health risks like anxiety or depression.

So when you find free-time, don’t be afraid to use that as a couple time. You and your spouse could go on a vacation or take a break from working all the time.

It’s essential to spend quality time with your spouse because you’ll need to refocus and avoid feeling burnout

Even when you think you’re already spending a lot of time together, you may not be giving enough attention to each other. So the least you can do is go catch a movie at night.


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