Hannah and I are entrepreneurs. We both launched multiple companies long before we were married, or even dating. Initially after we were engaged, we talked about working together to help each other on our companies, but eventually common sense took over and I quit my job to come home and merge companies. Typeset Design, Publish Conference, and Anchorfolk were born.
Working with your spouse isn’t something that everyone can do or would even want to do. Personally, I married Hannah because I enjoy her company and enjoy working with her. Technically we met met through work, so we have a very strong relationship in that area. However, a good friend of ours can’t even imagine working with her husband, and obviously working with your spouse isn’t for everyone.
1). Working with your spouse is only as good as your work ethic. If the fear of getting fired is the only thing that keeps you coming into work on time everyday in job outside of the house, you’re going to need to seriously motivate yourself to get up out of bed everyday and go to work. It’s hard. It’s still work. It’s just different now that you’re the one running things.
2). Work problems are suddenly spouse problems too. Because work and life are so tied together, you’re not just dealing with work problems now, you’re dealing with spouse problems. Sometimes you have to take time out of your work day, simply to sit down and discuss what you did wrong that made the other person feel devalued, used, or unwanted. I think the biggest thing to remember is something that successful relationships are built off of:
You have to be willing to work through problems constantly.
This is the constant day-to-day choice of married life, “I’m going to invest in this relationship. I’m going to work through things.”
3). Being in business together brings up a lot of stresses that you wouldn’t normally experience at the beginning stages of marriage, especially if you’re working together at home for most of the time. Hannah and I were engaged on Feb 26th, we relaunched Typeset Design on March 18th, launched the Publish Conference in July, and finally got married on September 15th. For the main part of our engaged life, we were working together in business, in multiple companies, on multiple projects and planning a wedding. It was amazingly awesome and really hard, but it brought us together, made us fight a lot more, and made us reconcile even more effectively.
4). Working together is hard on a financial level. We’re both working from home, so we’ve got to be careful what we spend and what we eat. If finances are especially a big deal for your spouse or yourself, then that’s an added challenge that you’re going to have to face, because new businesses rarely make money the way you want them to.
5). It’s hard to separate the two lives if you work at home, or even if you run your own business together. We have to keep strict business hours (mostly), because otherwise we’ll work way past our actual hours and overlap our home time. It’s really easy to check the emails again before bed, or first thing when you get up, but that isn’t healthy at all and creates a lot of extra stress that isn’t needed on either of you.
Recommended reading: How to Work Productively at Home