Are you considering or currently working with your spouse? Catherine and I have experienced the full gamut when it comes to our working situation: first as employees, then with each of us running separate businesses, and now working together in the same business. For us, working together has been by far the best experience.
You have a shared vision and goals
When my wife and I were running separate small businesses, we were constantly negotiating for more time to get back to working on our own goals. I wanted to be there to support Catherine but the truth was, I was so spent at the end of my day that it was hard for me to hear about what she was dealing with. We often felt resentful towards one another when there wasn’t enough time to handle our our own business commitments because of family obligations.
At SoYoung, we’ve taken the time to define our business goals together. This creates a natural alignment rather than competition, and has inspired me to be much more supportive towards Catherine. This has spilled over into our family life where I have taken on a far bigger role around the house as I recognize the importance of protecting Catherine’s focus.
You have increased time flexibility
One complaint you sometimes hear about running a business is that there is no Downtime. While this is true, it’s (hopefully) due to the fact that you are more emotionally invested, which leads to a higher level of creativity and engagement. While you may be thinking about the business in your downtime, when you are working with your spouse, you have the advantages increased personal freedom and choosing the times when you work and when you engage with family to suit everyone’s schedule.
This is true to a certain extent for anyone who works for themselves, however when you are a couple with kids, the effect is multiplied. Being aligned on goals and responsibilities means you can hand off to a supportive spouse who understands your situation moment by moment. Since you both have flexible hours, planning tasks such as who will pick up the kids after school that day becomes much simpler and potentially fluid.
You gain a deeper appreciation your spouse’s abilities
Honestly, when I was outside of the business, I had very little idea of what my wife did all day. Catherine was often recounting problems and admitting in frustration that she had no idea what she was doing – so I just assumed that was the case.
But now, having seen Catherine in action solving problems and taking on challenges day after day, I can say definitively that this is NOT true. In fact, when she gets down on herself now, I remind her of all she has accomplished because I’m so proud of her.
While it’s proven to be a big plus for our family, working with your spouse is not for everyone. If you’re thinking about it, I suggest you download the free guide entitled “7 questions you should ask before starting a business with your Spouse.”
Do you have an experience of how working with your spouse has helped or hindered your relationship? Share it in the comments below!