One of the most appealing benefits of starting your own business is having the flexibility to spend more time with your family. As head of your business, you can set your own hours and make space for your personal life when needed. Some entrepreneurs want to take this one step further and start co-owned business ventures with their partners.
According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 43% of small enterprises are family businesses with 53 percent of managers sharing day-to-day duties with a spouse. With even more people opting to tread the path of entrepreneurship, there has been an large increase in couple-owned businesses.
But how easy is it to work with your spouse? Baba Richard and Sri Namaste Moore are collectively known as The Infinite Couple. They are renowned relationship coaches who work with some of the most enterprising individuals and couples in the world. Together they created The Infinite Life, a collection of courses and masterminds designed to help individuals find success in life and business. These are their top tips for creating a successful business with a spouse.
Be willing to work on communication
One of the main advantages of working with a spouse is the opportunity to have open and honest communication. This could include sharing your vision for the business and future, setting goals and mileposts, delegating tasks, and solving problems. The key is to be mindful of how you communicate with your partner, and to be willing to put in the effort to communicate more effectively.
“Communication is so much more than just talking,” says Richard. “It actually means ‘to connect’. More than 94% of communication is actually done through tone of voice, body language, and behavior. This is why it’s so important to do communication exercises, or what we call ‘communication praxis’. Praxis means practice, and the more you practice something, the better you get at it.”
Identify individual strengths
In every business, each partner brings something different to the table. One partner may be better at negotiating deals and making sales, while the other may be more comfortable behind the scenes managing the books or developing strategies. By identifying what each person’s strengths are and allocating roles accordingly, couples can capitalize on their differences to build a strong foundation and avoid unnecessary conflict.
“The whole is more than the sum of its parts,” says Namaste. “We bring very different strengths to the table and we need to celebrate those strengths instead of eliminating them or tapering them down. Couples can bring their best selves forward when they recognize what each brings to the table.”
Know when to separate business and marriage
There are many similarities between running a successful business and making a marriage work. Both require partners to be on the same team, be honest with each other, and be willing to show support and gratitude. At the same time, it is important to draw a line between work and your personal life. Without clear prioritization, problems in the business can seep into the relationship and vice versa.
Richard and Namaste are firm believers that couples can thrive in both business and marriage, but not at the expense of one over the other. “Couples need to be married to each other, not just a vision,” says Namaste. “Whatever is more important than marriage will destroy it.”
It’s important to prioritize your marriage and be aware of how your business impacts your relationship. You have to find the right balance of attention and energy between your business and your personal life.
Don’t lose sight of what is important.
Building a business requires a great deal of thinking about the future, from planning budgets to setting defined deadlines and envisioning strategies for expansion. It’s easy to get caught up in the details and put everything else to the side while you work on getting your dream business off the ground. However, by taking a step back and appreciating what you have in the present, you can gain a better perspective.
“Too many people let their lives get in the way of happiness,” Richard says. “They tell themselves that great things will happen for them when they’re making enough money or have reached that next horizon. We teach them to flip the telescope around and make the primary focus love. When you make love the most important thing, everything else you are trying to do becomes so much easier.”
Put in the work
With a union that spans 18 years, more than a decade of marriage and a thriving seven-figure business, Richard and Namaste are proof that couples can work together as entrepreneurs without sacrificing their relationship. It may not be easy at first, but with the right mindset, any couple can bring their vision to life and enjoy a life that is deeply fulfilling both professionally and personally.