|Ever Consider Working with your Spouse?|
Kimberly J. Miller, President, Technical Registration Experts, Inc.
Working with a spouse is generally not an easy thing to accomplish, we should know since we've worked together (off and on) for nearly our entire 23-year relationship. We worked together in college in a restaurant environment, post college in miscellaneous career related jobs, and we have been working together supporting T-REX clients for over 16 years. According to LoveNation there were 1.2 million husband and wife-owned small businesses nationwide in 2003. Experts expect that number to climb higher as baby boomers retire and start their own businesses.
As the economy changes and small businesses struggle to stay afloat or unemployed or underemployed couples consider their career options, working with your better half might be something worth considering. But before you make the leap into working with your spouse here are a few honest points to consider...
Just being honest... we do not always agree on everything, and this is particularly true when it comes to our business. Perhaps one of the challenges we face has nothing to do with being married and more to do with the fact that one of us is a woman and the other a man and we tend to make business decisions differently. One of us seems to evaluate the "facts" and is often less willing to look at the emotional pieces which the other wants to consider as we make our business decisions.
Again, just being honest... the real success of our business oddly enough is the fact that we don't always have exactly equal roles, but rather one of us (and this changes based upon the circumstances or projects) simply pitches in and helps the other. Let us tell you however, if your marriage is already enduring a rough patch, working together is like having a child to try and repair a marriage and odds are you'll end up with even more tribulations and reasons to disagree.
Four Important Commandments for Working with Your Spouse (we could do 10 Commandments, but that has already been done)
Our final honest thought... only go into business with your spouse if you both really want to work together. If you need someone to help you save your business, hire a consultant or find a business guru. Let your spouse be your "happily ever after" for other reasons that don't involve your business. Working with your spouse is a challenging endeavor that requires hard work, determination, and discipline (just like a marriage). However, based upon our experience, it also has the potential to be very rewarding and satisfying. Really, when you think about it… what could be better than working with your best friend every day?