I think most of you already know that for me, my business is the love of my life. I put all my energy into maintaining and growing MOBE and the rewards I get from doing so are amazing. For a lot of other people, however, marriage comes first, and that means working with a spouse or partner on their business.
Two of the most successful MOBE consultants I know are Bill and Michelle Pescosolido, and they just happen to be married to one another. On the other hand, plenty of great entrepreneurs have achieved amazing results without a spouse or business partner of any kind.
So is it better to work with your partner on your business, or go at it alone? The truth is, it depends completely on the two of you.
Pros of Working with Your Spouse on a Home Business
Successful business couples say there are clear advantages to working closely with the person you love and trust most in the world.
1. You can split the responsibilities. Angie Stocklin, who created One Click Ventures with her husband Randy, says, “At the end of the day, our varied strengths and divided responsibilities made us a stronger team because it allowed us to become experts and excel at different areas of the business.”
2. You already know how to communicate. Every couple that has been together for more than a couple of years has been through a few rough patches where communication wasn’t what it could have been. The result of those moments is knowledge of how to speak to one another most effectivity, and how to motivate each other.
3. You share goals. According to Forbes, “Your business is likely to be more successful if you share a passion.” When you turn that passion into a business, you both know that the other wants to succeed as much as you do.
Cons of Working with Your Spouse on a Home Business
There are negative factors to consider in every situation, and working with your spouse is no exception. The following are common issues that arise when a couple starts a business together.
1. Power struggles. When you start a company on your own, it’s clear who makes the decisions: you. Unfortunately, the two of you probably both want decision-making power, and you won’t always want to make the same choices.
2. Too much of a good thing. Everyone needs a break from one another every now and then—it’s normal. You might find that if you live together and work together and play together, you start to need some space.
3. Combined financial risk. When you and your spouse or partner are working two different jobs or focusing on different companies, your household financial risk is much lower than if you rely on the same income. If your business doesn’t work out, you have nothing to fall back on.
The Outcome of Working with Your Spouse Depends on the Two of You
As I said before, I don’t have any personal experience working with a romantic partner, but I imagine it’s just like any other activity done together. Ask yourself whether you enjoy cooking together, writing together, budgeting together or traveling together. All of these activities can be enjoyable, but they are also an opportunity to butt heads and become very frustrated.
If you and your partner can handle the activities I just mentioned, think about why that is. Are you both in charge of the recipe? Are you both in charge of the route? Probably not. You’ve probably broken each project into specific tasks and chosen the tasks you’re most suited for. That’s how married couples make it work, whether they’re cooking a lasagna or running a business.