Two of the most stressful jobs to take on in life are running your own business and being in a healthy marriage. Either one of those can face numerous challenges and close calls on their own, but put them together and you’ll have a recipe that puts a new meaning to “stress test”.
You can do both and you can be successful with them, you just have to be able to predict when the speedbumps are coming before you even see them coming. It’s not going to be easy if you are relying only on your ability to keep a calm head alone, you need to insure that your partner is invested in your success, just as much as yourself.
1. Understanding The “why”
When life throws a monkey wrench at you, sometimes it’s just ‘dumb luck’, but other times it’s because you did or didn’t do something that triggered your problem. Ignoring your spouse for the sake of improving your business or vice-versa is a good way to set yourself up for a surprise later on.
Sometimes conflict is very healthy, it allows you to be on the same page as the other person, that way you’re not left wondering why they got mad at you, why they didn’t do what you asked them to do, and why you come home to the dreaded cold-shoulder treatment.
You don’t necessarily need to go into business together with your partner, but you can at least get them more involved with decision-making or let them know that you value their opinions. Don’t let your head get too big to where you start to show that you don’t actually listen to any of their complaints or protests. It doesn’t matter if they are completely wrong about their criticisms, just allow them the ability to voice their opinions.
3. Share Responsibilities
The key to any healthy relationship is teamwork, this shouldn’t change just because you are running a business now. Always try to help out around the house chores, even if it just means washing your own plate after every meal or sweeping the porch. Exempting yourself from chores, even if you work long hours on the business, is something that always affects the relationship, even if your spouse is completely okay with it at the time.
On the flip-side, getting your spouse to help out with little things for your business is a great way to improve morale, spend more time with each other, and reduce stress running the business. If you have kids that are old enough to help out, make it a family affair, rather than something that mommy or daddy has to go away for long periods of time to do.
4. Share Risk & Rewards
If your business gets a taste of success, don’t keep that success to yourself, just because you have invested more of your own money and time into building it. You are in a marriage, both of you have to make sacrifices and both of you benefit from having emotional, physical, and mental support when you need it most.
If you treat your business as yours, it will only come back to bite you later when your relationship faces tough challenges and is at its most vulnerable times, where you hear all the things that have been bugging them deep down inside, but they kept it quite for the sake of civility.