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four Vital Issues To Contemplate Earlier than Including Your Husband To Your Payroll

February
24, 2021

7 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

I've written in the past about the decision my husband and I made years ago to join forces and work together. As best friends and life partners, we first made the decision because my husband had spent far too many years selling his soul and time to the American company. We wanted a lifestyle where we could end our working days together and go to school to pick up our kids for the day. One of the reasons "family" is a core value in my business is because my husband and I take great pride in working together and building a thriving business together. Most of all, we understand that the family we've built together is a priority that we must value and take seriously.

For women entrepreneurs who are reading this right now and are considering including their husband in their business, I just want to tell you, the time is now. Although 2020 was a tough year for women entrepreneurs, I am very optimistic about 2021. With my coaching business this year, I've seen an increase in the number of women looking to grow their business, not just to increase sales, but to achieve freedom of life with their spouse.

Related: How I built my business so my husband could quit his job

Of the hundreds of women I've looked after over the years, I keep asking myself the question, "How do you work with your husband without wanting to kill each other ?!" The fun part of this question is a decent percentage of the time. The business owner I speak to will then answer the question, “My husband and I have thought about working together for a long time, but never thought about rushing.” I understand the hesitation, but I can tell you the benefits will address your fears far outweigh.

Personally, I would love to see this trend grow because I really only have positive things to share when it comes to working with my husband.

And no, that doesn't mean the decision to add my husband to my payroll didn't come with a couple of pace swings and lessons in the first few years. Like anything worthwhile in life, it took some adjustment. But we succeeded. If there are four big takeaways I can share with you, this would have to be this one.

Verbalize whether you are speaking to your spouse as a colleague or as a wife

It sounds so simple, but it's by far the most important thing. Just think about it. You'll spend a lot of extra time together, including the most likely trips to and from work together. While this exercise sounds silly, it really does help in making a clear line between your relationship as a husband and wife and your relationship as a business partner. Because the two relationships are very different and should be treated as such.

There are times when my husband needs to listen to me to talk about my work, not as my colleague but as my husband. At times like these, I just say, "I want to ask you something as my husband." As soon as those words come out of my mouth, John knows that right now our business is not the focus – I need his perspective regardless of business growth or marketing plan. This is a rule that we often also make on appointments or anniversary trips. As a couple, you have to actively decide when business deviates completely from the discussion table.

Related: Are you building a business or creating a job?

Determine a neutral place for difficult conversations

When we work together, John and I are aware of the fact that we work in an open office and that our employees are only a few meters away from us. At home we have our two children with us. At first we weren't sure what to do. If we haven't been able to have private, important conversations about work at work or at home, where should we have them?

My advice: find a neutral location for these private business meetings that works best for you. For John and me, it's the car. Since we're going to and from work in the same car together, it's the best time to just catch up with the two of us and create a game plan for whatever is being discussed. All either of us have to say is, "We can discuss it in the car," and we know it will be brought up and resolved. Find what works for you and just roll along.

Respect each other's work cycles and work speeds

Just like with your other co-workers, you have to respect the fact that your husband may work differently than you! For example, I often work very quickly and could probably talk about work without a break if I really wanted to. My husband is very different. He works slower and very thoroughly, and he also has to turn off his working brain when we get home for the day.

It took a bit of trial and error, but this is the best technique I've used over the years. When we're at home and rooted in home time, but a work idea is floating around in my brain, I just say this: "Are you in a headspace where I can ask you a work question?" If John says "no," I'll drop it right away and archive it for me to ask at work the next day. Here's the thing: we can't pretend work and life don't flow together. It is impossible to leave all of the work at work and all of your home at home. But everyone, including your spouse, deserves the time it takes to relax, support themselves, and be with their family. Make sure you've established clear communication so that you don't step over each other's boundaries.

Related: The Science Behind Working With Your Spouse

Ignore the extra "noise"

What I mean by that is pretty simple. There will always be people who will make snappy comments or try to put your husband down for "working for his wife." Surprisingly, John is still on the receiving end of these comments even in 2021. I would be lying if I said it never got under our skin. We are human! But at the end of each day, we can say that we spent the day working together and building a business with one another. Hard to beat.

One of my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quotes: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – because you will be criticized anyway. You will be damned if you do and damned if you don't. "

A very happy month of women's history to all women entrepreneurs and of course to their great life partners who help make this possible.

Related: Sincerity is how power couples maintain intimacy while working together

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