While leading a talented group of female entrepreneurs at the Women in Business conference in September, I learned that 4 of the 6 entrepreneurs on the stage (myself included) worked with their spouses.
This led to some interesting discussion as one of the panelists shared that she’d actually had to “fire” her husband and tell him to go start his own business.
Here are some of the things we female entrepreneurs shared about the joys and challenges of working with our husbands.
Some of the challenges
Work doesn’t stop.
One panelist shared that she and her husband had a difficult time leaving work at the office. They continued to discuss work over dinner, during vacation, on Saturday, etc.
Home life can spill over into work
If a husband and wife are having a “discussion” (oh, alright, let’s call it a “fight”), we often find it challenging to not let that fight affect our relationship once we’re in the office.
For some business/marriage partners, working together brought out the best in them – they balanced each other perfectly, offset each other’s weaknesses, etc. For some, it was a major clash of the titans - they drove each other so crazy that they had to dissolve the partnership…or totally risk their marriage. As one woman so aptly put it, “I can be married to you – I just can’t be your business partner!”
One great thing about being business partners with your spouse is that (most likely) you totally trust your spouse. I’ve heard so many horror-stories, especially in China, about “partners” running off and stealing the whole business. That’s a lot less likely to happen when you are married to your business partner.
Balance each other
For this group of women anyway, most of them talked about how they work so well with their spouse. One person handles the staff, the other the sales and output; their strengths go hand in hand. They’re able to build each other up – and soften some of the rough edges.
One great thing about building a successful company with your spouse is that you do it together. It is something you accomplish together – you can put your arm around your business partner and say, “Wow, look what we are doing together!”
What about you? Do you work with your spouse (or have you done so in the past)? Share with us some of your stories.