Healthy relationships (especially romantic relationships) take work to thrive. That work is compounded when you're building a business with your significant other. All of the normal relationship issues affect both people in a deeper way because you're spending a lot more time together. Regardless of your significant other's involvement, there are things that you can do while growing a strong business to give yourself the best chance of keeping a healthy relationship.
Luis Congdon and Kamala Chambers have figured out how to do both. This couple started a business called Thriving Launch together, which helps entrepreneurs get their message out online. They do this through podcasting (they have their own podcast, so they have experience), podcast coaching, podcast services and other services that help entrepreneurs build their online presence. They are experts in social media marketing, content marketing, digital courses and helping business owners create avenues to generate income purely through the internet.
I had a chance to talk to Luis and Kamala and ask them about how they've built a successful business together as a couple. They gave some actionable advice that you can use and apply as you build a business with someone you love.
Have a strong reason for starting and growing your business
Luis and Kamala have been together for four years. They met while doing something they both enjoy, dancing. When they met, Luis was working full-time. Kamala already had a successful business. Luis wanted to be an entrepreneur, and with Kamala's help, he started a business. After a year, they decided to team up, even though Luis was a little reluctant. They both saw a need and had a desire to help entrepreneurs create visibility and embrace the power of new media. They have now been in business together for two years and their business is thriving. Their why (or reason) helped them start and fuels their growth today.
There will be many hard times in your journey to build a business that gives you financial stability and creates freedom with your partner. There will be times when you lose motivation and nothing seems to be going as planned. During the darkest times is when you need to reconnect with the reason why you started a business and became an entrepreneur. It has to be strong enough to withstand the pressures of building a business with your significant other.
Decide on clear responsibilities
Luis and Kamala divide business tasks based on who has what skills. Kamala is much more technical and detail-oriented. Luis is a people person and enjoys sales. Their differences work out well for their business because they don't feel like they're stepping on each other's toes. They have clear responsibilities and boundaries.
To successfully build a business with your partner, each person should have a clear understanding of their roles and tasks in the business. Micromanaging the other person will only lead to arguments and unfinished tasks. Have a deep conversation before you start the business and have regular meetings to make sure everything is still in order. Communication is crucial in relationships and even more so in a business partnership.
Learn how to spend time together and apart
When you're building a business with your partner, you end up spending a ton of time together. Luis and Kamala say, "All that time together makes it harder to have date nights, intimacy, and romance."
They say it can be hard to work a whole day together and then transition to 'let's go on a date.' The issue gets compounded when fights occur. Sometimes they have different views. They say the worst is when they are having a personal fight and they have to work together. It can be hard to put personal stuff aside and get work done.
They've found having some time apart helps them be stronger when they're together. Luis says, "For any couple working together, I suggest that they take some time to be apart. It helps immensely. I also suggest having your own work projects -- stuff that doesn't require the other person."
A strong relationship is two individual people coming together without losing their individuality. Relationships suffer if they become too codependent, and it will hurt your business if that happens. Enjoy time together but have some time apart doing things you enjoy alone or with family and friends.
Share in the work
Luis and Kamala say, "Find your passions and gifts. Share in the work, but be sure that you each bring something unique. Remember that it's not a competition. Kamala and I used to feel a bit jealous of each other's gifts and successes. It's not about that. It's about what each of us can do well. Learning to discuss things at work takes extra effort. Sometimes it's best to choose a leader on a project and they get more of the final say."
If you have been having a hard time trying to build a business with your significant other, go through these points and see where you need to make adjustments. You can build a successful business with someone you love!
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.