One of the hardest things is working with your spouse as a business partner. Many years ago, I tested this with my wife, Sara, and it lasted exactly one day. Unlike me, many couples are very successful in happily running a business together; it even strengthens their marriage.
This week, on the Small Business Radio Show, I interviewed Dr. Ellyn Bader and Dr. Peter Pearson, of The Couples Institute in Silicon Valley. They specialize in helping entrepreneurial couples transform their relationships while managing their business and marriage simultaneously. For many spouses, it becomes difficult because running the company becomes a priority and the marriage can get lost in the process. This is because there are more points of contention and overlapping of role boundaries. Patterns established in the marital relationship also can get played out at work.
Ellyn and Peter’s outline skills that couples need to have to succeed in business together and strengthen their marriage. These include an ongoing appreciation and acknowledgment of each other. Peter believes if you never do this, partners can become numb to their involvement in the company and their marriage. Ellyn suggests using a technique called the “Daily Double” where each spouse mentions two things they can appreciate about each other. This can be done through texting or in front of other people.
Listen to the entire interview here on the Small Business Radio Show.