Entrepreneurship as a couple can be a leap in the dark, but some couples have tried it, and it worked.
How do successful couples manage to start a business without breaking up?
We researched and summarized strategies put into practice by couples in the business world that achieved financial stability and a healthy couple relationship.
If love and mutual trust encourage you to start a business together, go ahead. Here's our modest contribution.
Prepare for a tough start.
Starting your own business needs the same thing as a relationship: a lot of energy and time.
Any start-up that begins from scratch will have stressful moments. But for those who have managed to start a business as a couple, it has its advantages.
If one partner started a business alone, would be stuck at work all the time. But if it is a shared effort, starting a business will allow them to spend more time together. The important thing is to prepare yourself so that the stress of starting does not impact your relationship.
Free time will be almost non-existent for a period. This is a constant for any couple starting a start-up. However, running the business together will keep them in the same work cycle. They will be in the same cadence when things are on fire and also when they are relaxing.
You will surely love what you do with so much passion that you will not want to turn it off. You will find the balance together. Some couples take on a scheme of merging work and professional life and take their computers with them even on vacation. Their weekends resemble weeks and they have no problem with it. If this is your case, the company integrates into the day-to-day. Enjoy that spirit.
However, there is another group of entrepreneurial couples who try not to blur personal and professional life. They set boundaries. It can be helpful to have work start and end at a specific time.
Spending time in total separation from work can be a well-behaved protocol even if shared passion pushes to break the rules frequently.
Most co-founding couples sacrifice other areas of life in the founding period of the business. That is perfectly valid. With patience and the enterprise established, there will be time to go on a honeymoon or have children.
A foolproof strategy for a successful professional relationship is complementarity.
Complementary skills will make you an unbeatable team. You won't start a business just because you love each other. It's also because you have complementary fields of expertise.
If one is better at finance, the other will be better at creative work. Each will have a superpower. If one partner is more meticulous, that partner can do the planning. Having defined roles for each will avoid friction.
Not always agree on everything.
Partner couples are not exempt from disputes. There will be times when they are not aligned on business decisions.
But couples have communication tools built into their relationship. When in love there is a disagreement about something, it is possible to resolve it. Both will try to be proactive in managing conflict. As in a personal relationship, it is better not to avoid problems at work. You will be in disagreement many times. You can be sure you will do so in a respectful manner. After all, none will want to go to the room angry about the job.
Another excellent strategy is to have professional help from a business coach or therapist. In the initial stage, it can be helpful.
Keep it fun
It's crucial to create a fun work culture to start a business as a couple.
- Prioritize joint activities that generate enthusiasm.
- For tedious tasks, devise fun ways to do them outside the home.
- If you are in separate offices, instant message each other.
- Create a reward system to celebrate your goals.
- Include employees' spouses. Starting a business as a couple is an opportunity to experience a family-friendly approach to business.
The right person should share your values and work ethic.
Co-founding a company is not just about getting along, but starting a business with someone you don't like doesn't make much sense. If the opportunity to do it with your favorite person is in front of you, take it.