"I could never work with my spouse! He/she would probably drive me crazy!"
In 2018 when Ryan and I decided to take on a Christmas Light Installation business together, I felt like we were so compatible and enjoyed doing so many different things together, that I honestly doubted we'd ever drive each other crazy. I was wrong.
There were definitely plenty of times that we drove each other crazy.
However, there were also plenty of times that we had a blast working together! And if anyone ever asked me if I'd recommend working with his or her spouse, I'd say, "Absolutely!!"
Here's the way I see it. Whether or not you have a registered business with your spouse, you're partners in the business of operating a family. You have to manage finances, shop for supplies, schedule and plan, and figure out how to balance the stress of it all with just having fun. Things don't always go smoothly, and as I've learned, it can be pretty easy to drive each other crazy.
Whether in marriage or business, though, a lack of effectively working together can be very detrimental! And that is actually the main reason why I find so much value in running a business with my husband.
As simply a married couple, it seemed too easy to blame our moments of frustration and inadequate cooperation to being in an 'off mood' or 'not the right timing'; or even to just avoid confronting the issue altogether by focusing more on work, other responsibilities, or hobbies.
However, as business partners, we could not ignore the issue or come up with petty excuses! Our ability to provide for ourselves and the ultimate success of our business depended on us being able to learn how to effectively work together! So we did! We're definitely not experts at it, but we are on an upwards projectile!
The key for us was something so simple. We began focusing on what it was that we did when we were most effective and had a blast working together, and then started doing those things more consistently! Here are just a few of the things we learned:
1) Keep yourself nourished, physically and emotionally.
As soon as either of us got hungry, all successful collaboration broke down! Likewise, if we weren't taking time to rejuvenate our souls. we would burn out and everything became much more difficult.
2) Know and respect each other's strengths.
Ryan and I have different strengths. I quickly learned that I can't expect him to be good at what I'm good at, and vice versa. So, instead of pointing out what he isn't good at, we learned to just step into the roles that we knew we were uniquely skilled to do. Then, we just had to trust each other and let go of the illusion of control!
3) Make it fun!
I tend to have the mindset of, 'let's get this done, and then we can play.' But I learned quickly, that work and play don't have to be separate, and they really shouldn't be! Whether in business or marriage, there are plenty of 'work' like activities that need to be taken care of, so just relax and make it fun!
Ryan & Courtney Bringhurst, we are a happily married power couple! Our purpose together is to inspire and uplift others to live the life they were meant to live, as well as to find true joy and satisfaction in their life's journey.