Can you mix love and business?

Can you mix love and business?

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends | Contributors: Wendy Brookhouse, Founder/Chief Strategist, Black Star Wealth | Published: June 1, 2023

Want to share your entrepreneurial journey with the person you trust most in the world? Want to build something together and forge a larger family legacy? For a subset of entrepreneurs, the answer is a resounding “yes”.

It was a yes for me when I invited my husband, Kelsey, into Black Star Wealth well over a decade ago. The preliminary results from our Financial Benchmark and Best Practices survey for Entrepreneurial Couples showed that 90 per cent of the couples surveyed said they would do it all over again, given the chance. Yup, Kelsey and I would do it again as well – but start out differently.

So, if you're thinking about joining forces in business, here are some things to discuss to make the journey of working together smoother.

Role Definition

First and foremost is to look at the functions you need done and see if there’s a fit. It’s great to have a spouse as a sounding board and advisor, but getting involved in the day to day is a different situation. The right fit for the role is critical to feeling fulfilled — for both of you. Who will be responsible for what? What are your respective strengths and weaknesses? Writing job descriptions will provide clarity going forward.

Defining Success

Measuring success is about knowing if you’re achieving your goals. Step One: What are those goals? What does success look like for you, the business, and your personal life? Step Two: What metrics will you use to measure success? These could be sales, profit, better bill collection timelines, number of clients served — really anything that shows you are achieving your goals. In your personal life, for example, it could be the amount of time you spend with family: vacationing or sharing fun activities or time together.

Next, decide how often you’ll meet to review these goals and key performance metrics. Establishing AND keeping a meeting rhythm is important. Will you have regular check-ins with a formal agenda or will you meet as needed? These meetings will be critical to each of you contributing and engaging with the business.

Setting Boundaries

This is an important topic — determining when it's appropriate to talk about business and when it's not. It’s important to make sure you take time for yourself and your relationship outside of work. Another boundary to set — deciding which partner is responsible for what when it comes to household management. If someone gets sick or a pipe bursts in your house, who’s taking charge? Setting these boundaries now saves you the stress of trying to figure it out when it happens.

At the end of the day, bringing your spouse into the business is not to be taken lightly. It requires a lot of trust, communication, and effort. These are just some of the discussions you need to have before taking the plunge. It’s hard work, but for many entrepreneurial couples, it's a decision that pays off in the long run.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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