Throwback Thursday: Running a Business With Your Spouse

Confessions of a duo

I had not re-read this article since it was published in the National Post way back in January 2007 — but it really is a good one. The journalist asked a number of couples who work together like Kelly and I (Liette) to share their “do’s and don’ts” of co-entrepreneurship.

Obviously, we have many thoughts on the matter! Here are some of the things we shared in the article:

  • “We speak our minds and we don’t take disagreements personally.”
  • “We love our work and it can be difficult to turn it off at the end of the day. Too often our discussions morph into business discussions.”
  • “Carve out some ‘me’ time.”

Seven years later (and wiser), if we were asked to give advice to couples who are entertaining the idea of working together, we’d stick to all of that advice and we would also add:

  • Working together is not glamorous — it’s actually really tough. You have to work at it as well as on the business.
  • You end up working all the time – your business brain never shuts off.
  • Develop (or have) complimentary skills so you don’t step on each other’s toes.
  • If you’re tired or in a bad mood, warn your partner and give each other some space.
  • Be professional and treat each other with respect all the time, even when angry.
  • Lead by example and expect the same from your team.
  • Keep “couples behavior ” for home. No kissing, holding hands or arguing in front of your team.
  • Use long car rides to plan your workweek, talk strategy and for updates on projects.
  • Work out regularly, it will help you keep your sanity.
  • Drink a glass of red wine every night and make sure your supplies NEVER run out.
  • Laugh and have fun!

There is so much more to say, but we’ll save it for a future article.  As for the question “Do Couples who work together stay together?” In our case, the answer is a resounding “yes.” In fact, we’re about to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

Many thanks to Deena Waisberg and to the National Post for featuring us in “Confessions of Dynamic Duos.” It gave our company a tremendous amount of exposure and certainly sparked a great conversation between Kelly and I.
You can read the article right here.

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