In This Episode

Depending who you talk with, many people think it’s crazy to work with your spouse or significant other.  One of the biggest concerns we often hear is this idea of separating business from personal stuff.  You know that famous phrase, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.”  How do you think that comment would be received by your significant other when explaining why you did something at work?

If nothing else, one of the things spouses who are in business together often get very good at is having uncomfortable or difficult discussions.  It usually starts with having those discussions with each other and then quickly goes to the rest of the team.  As we’re sure you can appreciate, it’s often best to have those discussions and get things on the table vs. letting them fester and a small issue quickly becomes a big issue.  The idea of keeping business vs. personal separate is certainly one of those issues.

There is no one right way to do this but some of the popular ways spouses try to balance this whole work vs. personal thing include:

  • Set boundaries: if one of you feels like the business is dominating everything and as a result you’re losing site of your personal relationship, perhaps it would help to set some boundaries.  One of the most common is to set a time when you no longer talk about business (e.g. no business talk after 9pm).  If you’re not worried about boundaries but your spouse is, be sure to respect that.  Instead of sharing a great idea you have at 11pm, simply make a note of the idea and bring it up the next day.
  • Schedule it: just like setting up a time to go to dinner with your spouse, you should also schedule time to review business stuff on a regular basis.  We are big fans of having regular times to touch base with your team, not just your spouse, and would include daily, weekly, and monthly meetings.  Maybe the daily meeting happens on your commute into work or on your drive home.
  • Let it flow: as with many things in life, sometimes it’s just best to go with the flow and see what develops.  There is often a lot of trial and error when it comes to getting the right rhythm for your business, especially when it comes to working with your spouse.  So give yourself some time and grace to figure this stuff out.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to have such defined lines between business and personal.  Especially in today’s day and age with technology and all the connectivity it’s often hard to get away from the business.  Instead of fighting it, perhaps it’s time to embrace it and take advantage of being able to be connected just about anywhere in the world.  Heck, that could even include you and your spouse working from a remote location for a few days, weeks, or months!