Working at home with your spouse can be an adventure. It’s a great way to build a life and career together, but it’s also fraught with challenges. If you want the business and marriage both to succeed, it’s important to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Not every couple is suited to work together, so consider carefully if your styles and strengths will complement the other. A couple that works well together can be highly effective and successful.
Here are tips for couples to increase the likelihood of having a successful home-based business together:
1. Be a team. When going into business together, it is important that couples make the commitment to work as a team. This means doing things that will better the business, including avoiding petty arguments that will slow progress and growth. It also means accepting each other as equals. Problems can happen if one person acts superior or more important.
2. Define roles. Each individual will bring his or her own set of strengths to the partnership. Define roles based on what you do best and most enjoy doing. Each person should be responsible for something and be the leader of a particular area.
3. Be respectful. Just as people who work together in offices outside of their marriage need to be respectful of one another, so too do couples. Give each other the same respect that would be given to co-workers in any other setting.
4. Take breaks. It is important to take a break away from the work and have fun and rejuvenate. Plan a lunch outing once a week where no work is discussed.
5. Use humor. When challenges do arise, it will help if they are approached with humor. There are always going to be hurdles to cross, but humor can make things much more bearable.
6. Consider offices. If possible, consider having separate home offices. This gives each spouse their own space, and then they can come back together to discuss work items.
7. Have the plan to tackle your top priority. Establish a work schedule and make getting business your top priority each day until you have business.
8. Collaborate with others. Team up with other businesses to grow your own via cross-promotions, partnerships, and virtual organizations.
9. Couple first, company second. Life partners who are great at mixing love and work make sure the No. 1 business they’re in together is the relationship.
10. Accept different roles. Couples great at work and love know they have multiple roles with each other. Know when you have which hat on. Be ready to clarify.
Successful Couple at Work are educated, open-minded and, most of all, equal partners.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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