Most of the time I find life interesting and wonderful. I love my family and enjoy my great friends as they provide a respite from my everyday life. For most people at the end of the day they can leave “their worries behind” when they leave the office and head home to their spouse or their family. For many work may enter their mind only as they prepare for the next morning.

It can be different for an Entrepreneur, especially when their spouse is their partner. Work doesn’t always end at 5pm.

I had an interesting revelation recently when my husband and I hosted an impromptu dinner party. Of the four couples who were in attendance, it occurred to me as I looked around the room that each couple worked together as a husband and wife entrepreneurial team.  I thought wow – interesting company we keep.

I also thought it a bit cliche as I thought about my mother always looking out for who I was hanging around with because she didn’t want me to get into trouble. The whole, “You are the company you keep” mentality or the “Change your friends, Change Your Life concept” of 12 step programs.

As I looked around the room again, I thought – we’ll if this is any indication, we’re headed in the right direction. While hubby and I have our business, there are also side adventures we both take that garner our interest and time. This helps us keep the balance that we need. This gathering led me to the following:

3 Little Tips to Working with Your Spouse or Partner as Entrepreneurs are just a couple of ideas in a much longer list.

1. Get Away From it All. If you think taking a break will be harmful to your business, you’re right, but not why you think. You may be worried being away may cost you revenue but I also think if you don’t take a break it can be harmful to your marriage, which is bad for your business.  Just like adult time is needed for parents, so goes it for business partners. (If you’re parents and business partners – then a getaway is critical in my view).

This get away can be as short as an overnight or as long as you feel comfortable taking – just do it periodically. Set a calendar of once a quarter, twice a year – whatever might work for you, just don’t forget to get away because you’re “too busy” or afraid to leave the business.

2. Don’t take bad days personally. Running a business with your spouse or partner can be wonderful on most days. Now and again it may be stressful and challenging. During these times, the crankies may appear. Yes, crankies is a word I use with my children. And sometimes, we adults under stress can act irrational and emotional – like children. When this happens, if one of you puts your foot in your mouth, apologize, discuss and move forward. Remember your relationship and the foundation of your life.

3. Businesses come and go. Maintaining your relationship takes priority as that shouldn’t come and go as easily. If it really doesn’t work for you to work together in business, acknowledge that and figure out an exit strategy for one of you.

The last one may seem a little drastic and there are many more ideas in between. I wanted to make sure to touch upon the fact that sometimes it doesn’t work to work together – and that is ok.

I hope you’re having a great week. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post and if you’ve enjoyed it, I ask that you please forward on to your friends.

Have a great week!

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Allan - December 4, 2010

Nothing equals coming home from work and the stress that goes with it to a caring spouse / partner. This must be many times over if the partner is also a business partner going through the rigors and uncertainty of business with you. A spuouse comes in great especially when things do not work out as expected, to lift each other up at such times. I like the idea of breaks, to keep the relationship going. Personal relationships are everything,business comes far second. Great post.

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