Running a business alone is hard enough, so it takes a certain type of couple to be able to start and build a company together successfully. Boundaries must be set, and processes should be put in place from the get-go. After all, you don't become a power couple like George and Amal Clooney or Beyonce and Jay-Z without a bit of strategy.
I run my business with my husband and we've found ways to do so each day that work for us. Here are just a few strategies on how to work with your partner without going crazy:
1. Work out of separate spaces.
For most (certainly not everyone), having time away from each other can help balance work and life. My husband and I have found that working out of two totally separate offices gives us the appropriate space we need.
My husband works from our home office and I work from my office where I also see clients. We also handle two completely different parts of the business and utilize both of our different talents respectively, so the work itself is separated, too.
Couples that overlap in roles and responsibilities need to be A+ communicators in order to keep the peace.
2. Know what stresses each other out.
Managing stress when things get insane is crucial. Knowing how your partner handles stress is important, too.
Personally, when I'm stressed, I become laser focused, which is a sign to my partner to "let me be, stay out of my way, I'll work through it." Finding out what defuses stress in your partner also comes in handy when the time is right.
I remember having to speak on three different topics at one particular conference. I was literally running from one part of the conference center to the next. Afterwards, I arrived at my booth to do a meet-and-greet and my feet were killing me. And let's be real, it's hard to smile when your feet hurt.
I saw my husband come over to me and hand me a box--and inside were a pair of sneakers. At that moment, he evolved from being the love of my life to my superhero. He knew exactly what I needed to put my best face forward for our business.
3. Leave work at the office.
When work is done, leave it at the office and do not take it home. Once it's time for dinner, my partner and I make the necessary shift from business partners to husband and wife.
Work is not allowed to be discussed during dinner. Boundaries in discussion can help avoid darkening the doorway to your home, a place of relaxation. If something work-related can't wait until the next business day, make the effort to take emotions out of your discussion and view each other strictly as business partners.
Of course, different strategies work for different power couples, but the most important thing across the board is work-life balance. Make time to get work done, but to also enjoy each other's company without the distraction of work.