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Running a Business with Your Spouse

The questions that we get most often about building a business together include:

  • How do you do it together?
  • How do you find balance?
  • How do you draw the line between work and home?

One of the first things that we share is the exponential benefit of working with your spouse if you can avoid the pitfalls.

By working as a team, we’ve been able to walk away from two six-figure positions. Most importantly, we’ve been able to give our children a firsthand example of what hard work looks like through the blueprint of entrepreneurship and marriage combined.

We’ve been working with each other for over 13 years now and it’s been everything but easy; however, I do have to say that it has been worth it.

This journey has solidified not just our marriage, but our family.

On a daily basis, we are forced to lift each other up, cheer for each other, and drag each other across the finish line of our goals and dreams. We awake knowing that not only do our careers depend on the work that we do together, but our family does, too.

From humble beginnings, we’ve been able to build a thriving small business that pours into the lives of our customers and the families of those who work for us.

For our personal story, we talk about the three P’s; how we followed our passion, discovered our purpose, and hustled to create a profit.

But besides the three P’s, we’ve found there are four core principles that must be in place if you want to build a successful business with your spouse.

Couples C.O.C.

The Couple’s C.O.C. is what we call the Couple’s Code of Conduct. Your C.O.C. outlines the proper practices between you and your spouse, both in your marriage and in your business. It

  • Defines the lines that you will not cross; especially, in the presence of others
  • Sets a baseline that ensures respect and admiration are upheld in your private and public lives

Cracks in the foundation of your marriage will also lead to cracks in your business. So, you need to set rules that protect what you’ve built by allowing cooler heads to prevail at the proper times.

Respect for your strengths and weaknesses

You both need to be able to determine and respect each other’s strengths. Just as important as finding your strengths is determining your weaknesses and then handing off those duties to someone who is better suited for the job.

Ronnie and I are total opposites in the way that we complete tasks. What we have to do is lean on each other where we are the strongest, while having trust that the other person will perform the job and complete the task, even though they won’t do it how we would have done it. My strength is creativity, her strength is organization and productivity. We lean on our strengths when we delegate what gets done in the business.

Vision

You have to take the time to develop a vision for where you want to take your business and what the goals are that you hope to achieve.  Set goals for the next six months, one year, five years and ten years. Then, go back and revisit those goals and how you are doing on achieving them on a regular basis. Feel free to adjust as needed. Nothing feels as good as accomplishing goals with your spouse.

Trust

Like respect, if you don’t have trust in your marriage it’s nearly impossible to have it in your business. If you’re going to be in business with anyone, trust must be in place. Trust comes into place with money, management, duties and more. Can I trust that you are going to do what you say you are going to do? This is an important question that you and your spouse should be able to answer.

Those are four things that MUST be in place in order to have a successful business where your spouse is your partner.

At the end of the day, there is no better person to run a business with than your spouse. Being married means you are already used to working together towards common goals. With open communication and the right framework, you can apply what you already know and turn it into a successful business!

About the Author(s)

lamar-tyler-headshot

Lamar is the creator and co-founder of the international business network, Traffic Sales & Profit (TSP), a premier community for purpose-driven African American entrepreneurs that provides solutions to drive more website traffic, convert more online sales and increase business profit

Co-Founder, BlackandMarriedwithKids.com
ronnie-tyler-headshot

Ronnie founded BlackandMarriedWithKids.com (BMWK) in 2007 along with husband Lamar. Over the last 13 years, she has grown the site from a personal blog shared by one couple to an international brand with over 600,000 social media fans. 

Co-Founder, BlackandMarriedWithKids.com
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