After creating the first couple Adam and Eve, God; in his image, entrusted male and female with shared responsibility based on their talent and ability. This means from the beginning; cooperation was basic to the divine design for marriage. Also, as a married couple we are on the same team and it is in our hands to make decisions and divide responsibilities in a way that honors both people.
For modern married couples especially, those who are not only partners in life, also partners in business, it’s important to write everything down and make a chart that clearly designates each portion of the overall workload as “yours,” “mine” or “ours”. Accept that there will be disagreements too, but no one is the ultimate boss. Allow the more informed partner in that situation to make the final call.
Even before you set the ground rules for business partnership, it is a good idea to discuss your visions of business, family and marriage so collectively you can create a shared vision for your future. Going back to Bill and Melinda Gates, they came together to make the world a better place investing a substantial portion of their multi-billion-dollar income to end poverty and poor health and revamp America’s education system. They don’t spend every minute together, yet they have a collaborative relationship with a shared vision.
Working together also requires that you have good communication skills to be able to keep up with one another 24 hours a day. At the start of each day, communicate your expectations of the day with each other. Whether it is household chores, orders that need to be processed, inventory procurement, shipment delivery, e-mails and calls that need to be responded, events that must be attended or taking a break during the day to visit the salon. Extensive communication brings you on the same page, and you seem united to everyone who comes to you for business.
Since you work together, you also end up working long hours than most of the couples who are self-employed. Also, it’s unreasonable to assume you can leave work at the office once you are home, what you can do is make a conscious effort to turn off work talk for some time to be present for your family. Work-life balance is an illusion especially for entrepreneurs, but you can figure out ways to mix work and love in creative ways like brainstorming on a sandy beach far away from home or office or keeping up with hobbies that help you escape from the stress of the work or walk your pets.
While sharing the same workplace provides a perfect opportunity to strengthen ties between married couples, at the same time it is important for partners to give the freedom to think and do things that are fulfilling for each other. Giving each other the space to breathe, to miss you, have separate interests and activities and socialise. All this gets you back to the relationship refreshed and ready to share your experiences, thus leading to greater bonding. Remember, deeper the roots, taller the tree and stronger is an old Indian saying.
Working couples have their own sphere in which they rise. When spouses share their fondness and admiration for each other’s talent with sincerity in their tone, it has a powerful impact and shows there is respect. A great example of this respect comes from comes from Salma Hayek’s husband, François-Henri Pinault, who explained to her why he wanted her to go back to work after having children.
“‘I don’t want to be deprived of your work,'” she reports him saying to Allure magazine. “‘I want to watch it, too. And the world has not seen the best of you yet. So, you cannot stop until some of that is put out. So he sort of really pushed me, like, ‘Get up on your feet and get out there.’ And he was right.”
The internet is full of formulas to have a successful relationship. I have only one line to say, “many of us are lucky to have the perfect partner to spend our life while we work. For others, if the opportunity has not knocked so far, build a door.”