Marriage and Business - 4 Ways to Keep it Fresh to Death
Being married and running a business has its challenges. It can be especially difficult in the early years—exactly where we are right now with our company—when sacrifices need to be made. The money isn’t there to enjoy because so much of the revenue generated goes right back into the business. There isn’t a lot of time either since getting a company up and running is like launching a mission to mars (it’s not that easy, buy you get the idea). I can say with a certainty that if I didn’t love what I do, I wouldn’t keep doing it.
Being married and running a business together is on a whole different level. Each has expectations of the other, and sometimes we fail to meet those expectations. Additionally, spouses don’t make the best accountability partners. It just doesn’t work in our experience. I come across as overbearing, she can seem like she’s nagging—yeah, it can be a real mood killer. So, what do you do?
1. Keep Your Priorities Straight
As Christians, our faith is central to everything we do. We don’t shove it in our clients faces, but we don’t back down or shy away from our identity in Christ either. We are going to be with Him much longer than we’re going to be in business, so a massive part of keeping our marriage right is keeping our relationship with Him right. For us, that happens (mostly) as individuals spending time in the word. But we enjoy the privilege of being able to pray together in the morning. Does that mean we never fuss when we pray? Yes. We never fuss. Are you kidding?! Of course we still fuss—we’re married for Pete’s sake. Still, it sets a different tone and, if our hearts are right, our attitudes toward each other tend to follow.
2. Trust Each Other
If you can’t do this then you shouldn’t be in business together. Business partners, whether married or not, have to be able to trust each other implicitly. That means that you don’t keep tabs on whether the other person is pulling their weight or not, you’re not keeping track of their schedule, and you’re not hounding them to get things done. Now, if they’re doing something that severely harms or hinders the business then there may need to be a conversation but, generally speaking, trust has to outweigh the differences in work styles.
3. Maintain the Romance
This is true whether you’re in business together or not. Romance is created and maintained. The idea that it just magically appears within the relationship is Hollywood nonsense. Those of us with successful marriages are shouting from the rooftops that marriage takes work—and that the work is worth it. Having a business together adds new dynamics, but you can make those dynamics fun aspects to worth through. I get to flirt with my co-worker. Well…let’s be real, I do more than flirt with my co-worker. TMI? But even a kiss on the neck or holding hands can make a huge difference. Work has to get done, but if you aren’t taking time for each other, what kind of business are you building?
4. Give Grace
We tend to hurt those we love the most. So, it’s absolutely critical that we are especially sensitive when one of us fails. Maybe you saw the mistake coming. So what? Being an encourager is far more likely to result in better decision-making next time than any critical word—no matter how constructive it sounds in your head. Be patient and be their best cheerleader.