7 Ways To Improve Work-Life Balance As A Business Owner.
Have you ever thought about owning and running a business with your significant other? Before you do, consider these 7 ways I improved my work-Life Balance working with my husband. I knew one day that I would own a business or two but never thought any of them would be in sports. Well, not until I met my now husband.
Most of the 9-5’s I’ve ever had I’ve always been the right hand to the man in charge. So it was no big deal to have a male counterpart starting a new endeavor. However, it’s a whole different ball game (no pun intended lol) when your business partner is also your husband.
I’m always asked by friends and people in general how it is working with your significant other assuming it must be challenging. It is at times; and although every day is different and some days are more challenging than others, there’s really no better feeling than building with the person you love.
Nonetheless, I wanted to delve a little deeper and share some of my best advice from my experience that may be helpful if you are considering embarking upon a business endeavor with your partner.
1. Make sure you both share the same vision.
There’s really no point going into any business let alone with someone else if neither of you share the same vision. Sure there may be different facets of your company services or products but if both of you can’t agree on what the goal is or what one, two or even three years look like in the future, you may want to reconsider if you really have two different business ideas instead of one. Of course in the business world, at some point you have to rethink ideas, evolve business models, adjust to new challenges and pursue new opportunities in order to thrive. Nonetheless the goal should always remain the same.
2. Value your partner’s strengths and support each other’s weaknesses.
I’ve learned the quicker we identify what we do well and not so well, the better we understand how to star in our roles. Of course, starting any business sometimes requires you to wear multiple hats in the beginning but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t outsource for the tasks you are not proficient in. Besides, you will save a lot of time and headache just by investing in a professional. In our sports business, I consider myself the engine and he is the driver. I manage the day to day administrative tasks, digital media and web development, bookkeeping, and all those tedious tasks most people run away from including my husband lol. He’s much better off in the driver seat as the face of the company and service provider helping to promote and build brand authority in the industry. Sometimes life calls for us both to roll up our sleeves in areas where our counterparts are more efficient. But ultimately, it’s important to respect and appreciate each others expertise and what each of us bring to the table and be willing to support each other where we may fall short.
3. Have real meetings regularly.
Not only do we run a business together, 80% of the time I am working from home and he is out in the field. This may sound like an advantage on my part but it’s also can be problematic especially when managing multiple brands. That’s why it’s important for us to have regular meetings to be as productive with our time as possible. If we don’t we can easily fall off tasks and miss important deadlines especially because our daily routines vary throughout the week. I’ll be honest, sometimes our “meetings” are sporadic and unconventional like while having breakfast or washing clothes but it important to have them anyway we can at least for now. Ideally, I would love more traditional “scheduled” meetings especially when we are ready to expand. Allotting time specifically for meetings definitely helps me manage work-life balance so I can focus on what’s in front of me at the moment. Until then, I can definitely appreciate the time we do make and it’s really helped push us forward in business and has helped us learn to communicate better.
4. Help each other so you both can clock out for quality time!
This is a major part of maintaining work-life balance because running a business together is not like a regular 9-5, it’s more like work until we fall asleep. This has definitely become a struggle this year with the launch of yet another business. In fact, I’ve been so overwhelmed and emotionally drained all year, I haven’t really basque in how much we accomplished. I literally had 3 weeks to write out a business plan, build the infrastructure, file formation paperwork, build not one, but two company websites, design and print promotional collateral aaand manage the day to day.
My husband always gripes about my time management. He’s like, “You are always working on your computer”. While I get his frustration, for me, time management is never an issue when my workload isn’t heavy. As women, the majority of our time is spent juggling way more responsibilities than our male counterparts. Yes, I said it lol. Couple that with running a business and it’s almost impossible to get everything done in a day. This is can be problematic when you have to constantly choose between pending tasks and pending quality time with your partner.
My best advice for this is to help each other out! Give yourself and each other some grace! Bear some of the workload and see how big of a difference it makes. You can’t complain about time with your partner but not be willing to roll up your sleeves to help out. While helping out will make a huge difference in freeing up time for the both of you, I also suggest setting work hours and practice clocking in and out. If you are a service-based business, It’s always been my rule of thumb to not answer calls or respond to texts or emails until I’ve officially clocked in because if you don’t set boundaries, customers won’t either.
At the end of the day, we are both extremely passionate about our business and personal endeavors however, you can easily miss the tell tell signs where things began to feel imbalanced. We noticed we were arguing more about business matters, missing out on quality time with family and friends and ultimately not making or enjoying quality time with each other.
Even though we are up and running now, business is booming and we’ve hired help, we are stilled consumed with work. However, as long as we continue to make a conscientious effort to help each other and take regular breaks, we can really start to enjoy the fruits of our labor and quality time together. We have even inadvertently carved out Sunday evenings as date night-in and for us that’s a win!
5. Always remember you are on the same team.
In my experience, when it comes to business it can sometimes be difficult to see each other as anything other than husband and wife. With that, you sometimes run the risk of being easily offended or put-off by your partners words or actions. It’s important to always remember that we are a team as husband and wife and as business partners but we must make it a habit to keep business and person matters separate.
6. Be Patience and give yourself and your business time and room to grow.
While some situations call for immediate action, other times, we just need a little patience. For me, I am super patient and honestly sometimes, and I mean sometimes, maybe too patient. I just feel more confident when plans are thoroughly thought through and planned out. By contrast, patience is area that is a work in progress for him but can truthfully be beneficial at times where I can be a little to reluctant to jump into action. When starting a business and even in life in general, patience is virtue. You can’t expect to have it all figured out overnight and if you do, you must have some type of super human power.
You have to learn how to grow with your business and the only way to learn that is with time and experience. You learn what works and doesn’t work and how to better position your brand in your respective industry. You learn more about how to improve your customer’s experience. You even learn about yourself and what benefits your personal growth and what stifles it.
Don’t take shortcuts. It’s just not worth it. When it’s your season, it’s your season; until then learn to just embrace the journey. All the highs and lows you experience are a part of your growth. I believe strongly in allowing things to flow organically and how they are intended to. Your endeavors and your personal life will thrive moving in alignment with the universal.
7. Take a business class and learn the ins and outs of your business and your industry.
You will never know too much not to learning something new but it’s a good rule of thumb to always stay on the cusp of your industry. I’m definitely no expert but education is probably one of the most beneficial assets that adds so much value to your business. It’s so imperative to start developing an entrepreneurial mindset early on to create more opportunities for your business to thrive. If you only know what you know and are satisfied with that, you run the risk of your business becoming stagnant and evening falling short to competitors who have been able to evolve simply by investing time into improving their infrastructure.
In the past, I’ve worked jobs where I was relied upon significantly by my superiors because they thought they were above learning the ins and outs of their own company. I was flattered at the moment but I thought, ‘geez, what would happen if I wasn’t here‘. I just thought to myself if I were to ever start a business, I would never want to be in that predicament. I always want to feel confident running my business gaining not only the respect and trust of my employees but also my customers.
One thing that has helped me is tapping into my entrepreneurial mindset. I found it
If you are in business with your significant other, what advice would add to my list? Drop them below!