Spouses Who Work Together, Stay Together – Sometimes

Picture this…

Most couples wake up, get the kids ready for school, scramble to get themselves ready, give their spouse a kiss goodbye, wish them a good day as they’re crawling into their cars and are off to work.  Eight hours later, they get home, make supper, briefly ask how the others day was, and then are off to chase their kids around for the evening.  Dance, hockey, music, whatever.  It’s hectic.

When you work with your spouse, it’s more like this…

Wake up, roll out of bed.  One will get in the shower while other checks on emails that need urgent responses.  Then you switch, the second always getting the cold water (okay that happens to everyone – maybe just a slight grudge I have).  Sometimes, we’ll eat breakfast together and the conversation is usually about what needs to get done that day – business has already started.  Once we’re both ready, it’s off to the office!  Which is a mere 15 steps from the kitchen in our case.  The day has officially started.  Now we sit in the same office talking business strategy, daily tasks, financials, marketing, upcoming events, new projects, etc.  Not necessarily romantic stuff.  At some point, we’ll leave the house, both going our own ways, but in the end, we are back in the same office, recapping the day – together again.

Always together…

You Get To Work With Someone You Love

The biggest perk of working with your spouse can also be the biggest challenge – you are always together.  There is rarely a break.  I’ve heard some people say when they are in a rough patch of their relationship sometimes they just “need a break”.  Whether that is a boys night watching Monday Night Football or a girls weekend to the mall, something to just get away.  When you work with your spouse, that’s not an option.  Luckily, Kaitlyn and I have been blessed with the fact that we rarely argue.  It has always been that way.  We are two easy going people that don’t find reasons to fight over trivial things.  We enjoy each others company and love growing our lives together.  So for us, working along side each other is awesome!

Which is the most important thing!

We Enjoy It!

We love what we do.  And you have to!  If you are going to spend all day, everyday together, you’d better love it!  If not, it would just drive a wedge between us.  I would get grumpy, she’d hold things in, and soon we’d have a huge blow out.  Don’t get me wrong, we don’t always agree and there are certainly times we get upset at each other, but we know that’s okay.  It’s part of the process.  And working those kinks out is part of the fun.  We just embrace it and understand that it’s part of the process.

But in order to do that…

We Have Become Professional Compromisers 

Like any other part of marriage, you have to be able to compromise.  We are a man and a woman.  We always want different things.  But neither one of us always gets our way.  We have learned to compromise.  Compromise is something that every marriage demands, but think of it this way.  When you work together, you spend twice as much time together so twice as many decisions need to be made.  If you struggle to compromise on the best of days, working together probably isn’t for you.  You need to be professional compromisers.

And…

You Need To Be Decisive

We make decisions quick and then move on.  We are fortunate to be able to make a decision and move on with life.  Whether the decision turns out right or wrong, we are able to live with the consequence and push forward.  Some people find it difficult to make decisions.  We have learned that opportunities move quick and fast.  You can’t be scared of making the wrong decision.  You need to equip yourself with the tools, knowledge, and people to help you make the best decision possible, but at the end of the day, you are going to make some bad decisions.  Get over it.  All you can do is repeat the ones you made right and eliminate the ones you made wrong.

Another thing to get over is…

Keeping Life & Work Separate – It Doesn’t Happen

It just isn’t realistic to separate life and work when you own a business together.  Work-life balance is not a concept that exists for us.  We have learned that it’s more about lifestyle balance.  Meaning work doesn’t always end at 5:00.  Our brain doesn’t stop working just because we do.  Sometimes we will get a hair brain marketing idea, or an idea for a new business, or whatever it is!  And that is exciting for us.  It’s too exciting not to talk about.  So we don’t fuss if things don’t stop at 5:00.  We talk about business whenever it comes to mind.  We also have to be careful not to let it over consume us though.  A big learning lesson we learned a few months ago was that sometimes we need to intentionally schedule for things outside of work.  Time with friends, date nights, volunteering at church.  Those things are all important to us too, so we needed to be careful not to be so consumed with work that we miss out on the other opportunities of life.

But that’s a joy of self employment…

We Can Be Flexible!

We get to choose our own schedule.  We get to decide when we work and when we don’t.  If a friend is in town Thursday and Friday, we can choose to take those times off with them and work Saturday and Sunday instead.  We can spontaneously go for lunch with a family member at the last minute.  And if we just need a break, we can just go for a coffee together!  Those are things that not everyone can do and we cherish those benefits.

At the end of the day, working with your spouse has it’s benefits and it has it’s challenges.  The coolest part for me is that I get to spend most of my time with the person I devoted my life to and we get to build our life together every day.  I know that working with your spouse isn’t for everyone, but to me, it’s pretty awesome!

 

 

 

Brad Blair
Brad Blair
brad@sprucehomes.ca

Brad has been surrounded by business all his life. Being the 4th generation of a family owned business, he has always dreamed of starting a business of his own. With his early exposure to the business world, his financial and business education, and desire for accomplishment, Spruce Home Staging & Design has been a perfect fit for Brad. Fun fact: Brad’s favorite sports teams: St. Louis Cardinals and NY Jets