Going into business with a best friend is both fun and challenging. Doing it with a BFF AND your spouse is…quite the experience. *wink* I’ll be the first to admit that when we first began this journey, I didn’t handle my husband’s input very well. However, over the last six months we have overcome some major communication and attitude hurtles that are helping our company, and our relationship, soar!
So grab some coffee and let’s chat about what we’ve been implementing. Here are my 5 quick tips to improve working with your spouse…
1. Schedule times to have work meetings.
Seriously this has saved us from many unnecessary arguments and hurt feelings over the last six months! We used to talk about things whenever we chatted whether at home enjoying coffee, driving in the car, or at the office. Nate and I are both visionary people so we love brainstorming and talking about possibilities.
This didn’t work out well though when I was working through thoughts by verbally processing. He would add his insight and then I’d feel wrong and then we’d end up arguing over something stupid. It also left out 1/3 of the Owners because Raychel was never in these conversations and so her input was missing.
We have since started a weekly Owner meeting where we can discuss all the things and it has made a world of difference both personally and professionally!
2. Stop micromanaging!
This is the part where a sheepish look crawls across my face and my hand has to shoot straight up. Ugh! Anyone else struggle with this? It can be difficult to hand over projects to anyone, especially your spouse, and not want to nitpick on how or when they are doing things. But it has got to stop if you want to have a thriving business and a healthy relationship.
The first step is awareness. Admit to yourself that you struggle with this. The second step is to ask for forgiveness and let them know that you are working on overcoming it and would appreciate their help in an honorable way so you recognize when you’re doing it. It does get better, but it will take some time.
One of our most favorite tools to use for our company is something called Basecamp. I stumbled upon this back in 2011 when I was working as a virtual assistant for a multi-millionaire business owner. It has been a lifesaver for us! There are other programs out there that do similar things, but Basecamp is our favorite. In this program you can set up To-Do lists, have discussions with team members, upload important documents, etc. It’s an awesome way to keep everyone informed when you are working with your spouse, or a team that is not in the same location.
4. Consider their viewpoints.
One of the biggest lessons I’m learning this year as a business owner is to consider the viewpoints of everyone on our team. This is especially true with our Owner team as well. My husband has wisdom and insight into things that Raychel and I do not.
Nate has worked with teams of people in high stress situations and knows how to build a team atmosphere much better than we do because we simply haven’t had the time to do everything on our own. His viewpoints are extremely important and I have come to appreciate them immensely.
He’s able to see areas of growth in ways we can’t. Nate has been able to put systems into place that we couldn’t because he had the knowledge to do so and we did not. He also knows how to help us celebrate the wins! And we desperately needed that viewpoint.
5. Trust them.
This is the biggest factor to improve working with your spouse. Trust. According to dictionary.com, trust means,
Trust: reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
Your spouse is not your enemy. You married your spouse for a reason, right? And more than likely, unless you are in an abusive situation, you married your spouse because of love and there was trust there. It’s no different when you work together.
Trust is a big factor and you’ve got to trust them to do their job. Yes, there will be some mistakes. Guess what? You’ve made mistakes too and you’re stronger and wiser for it! Don’t rob your spouse of the mistakes needed to help them grow in this adventure with you. Trust them.
These tips are simple, I know. The hard part is activating them! But you guys – seriously for real – they have all made a huge difference in how my hubby and I, (and all three of us owners, really) communicate and function as a team.
If you’ve been struggling with working with your spouse in any capacity, then I encourage you both to pick one of these tips to start with and work on it together over the next 30 days! You just might find that it becomes a ton of fun to work with your spouse again.