Women’s Secret to Success

hiring your husband Are you among the 62% of women entrepreneurs whose primary source of income is your business? Since flexibility is important, many start out as virtual or home-based businesses. That’s because the other roles in our lives matter as much, if not more, than our professional role. And hiring your husband adds love to your business.

This only applies to the exceptional few. Not all couples ought to work together. However, if you and your husband are ready to join forces professionally, then figure out the critical details before he joins your team.

Here is how to hire your husband and love having him on your team:

The Transition

Steve and I have lived and worked together in some capacity since 1982. Steve directed our counseling agency, while I worked in the trenches.

Then burnout started to plague me. And I began a search for my next best move.

My transition from therapist to business coach created challenges for both of us, personally and professionally. My need to move on created a gap in the agency. Several years later, Steve sold the agency.

Not all couples ought to work together. However, if you and your husband are ready to join forces professionally, then figure out the critical details before he joins your team. #shestheboss Click To Tweet

Once again we would work side by side. The tables had turned. Since now I was the boss.

Hiring Your Husband – Lessons Learned

Here are the lessons I learned:

  1. Simply because Steve lived with me, didn’t mean he fully understood my company culture.
  2. Because he was eager to help, he agreed to do some things that were outside of his skill set.
  3. I didn’t always fully explain a procedure or my expectations.
  4. His role became more defined over time.
  5. We both grew because of the errors we made, not in spite of them.

After several mishaps, we finally found Steve’s sweet spot and created a proper job description. As the boss, I wanted his position to be strength’s based rather than fill a gap.

Next, we scheduled weekly meetings, with a set agenda. This kept us on the same page. So every Monday at 9am we discuss intentions, strategy and action plans.

couples in business togetherLove the Relationship

Growing a business requires time and attention. But we refuse to let it take over our marriage. And with the right mindset, our marriage continues to flourish as my coaching business continues to grow.

By the way, hiring your husband doesn’t fix your marriage. To the contrary, it takes a solid marriage to successfully work together. That’s because any weakness in your marriage will spill over into your work relationship.

Here’s a nugget: The best couples are complete opposites, with different strengths and skill sets. For example, he’s great at sales and technology. She excels in team building and program development.

Since we’re both trained therapists, our skill sets overlap. So it took awhile before we identified our complementary strengths. Steve’s expertise lies in relationships and communication. Mine focuses on business development. And that’s why couples in business together is a growing specialty for us.

A Winning Mindset

Hiring your husband adds another dimension to your relationship. Especially when you’re the boss at work and his partner at home.

Our mindset unifies instead of divides us. Of course some disagreements and difficulties arise along the way, particularly under stressful moments. Fortunately, placing blame isn’t our style. That doesn’t solve anything.

Detachment keeps me from taking things personally. I know how to separate beliefs and emotions from performance. I can deeply care without getting caught up in the story. As the boss, my role is to mentor him rather than criticize him.

Define Boundaries

Before hiring your husband, set clear boundaries. I recently polled couples who work together. Boundaries topped the list of “must haves.”

They prevent the number one cause of stress and frustration in a work relationship between husbands and wives — power struggles.

Boundaries prevent the number one cause of stress and frustration in a work relationship between husbands and wives -- power struggles. #shestheboss Click To Tweet

Do you have control issues? Boundaries keep them in check. They reduce clashes. Why argue over decisions and procedures if that can be avoided?

I believe that prevention requires less energy than intervention. Plus, we didn’t want work issues to overshadow our personal relationship. We resolved that by creating a decision making strategy.

You’re the boss

I’m the boss. And I highly value Steve’s opinion, even when we don’t agree. Sometimes, however, I prefer an outside opinion.  That’s why I continue to work with a business coach.

Here’s how we make decisions when our opinions differ:

  1. I discuss most important matters with Steve first.
  2. He gets to decide on things that fall within his domain.
  3. Since it’s my business, I make the final decision.

Your husband’s ideas are important. That’s why I suggest you schedule weekly meetings. This becomes a set time to share his ideas. First acknowledge his ideas. Then decide whether you disagree, need more details, or ready to develop a plan.

Different Work Styles

working with your spouseOur work styles differ. Because of that, we agree on when to turn off work-related tasks. And when to stop talking about work related matters.

One specific daily ritual solves this challenge. Each weeknight before dinner Steve and I review our work day together. Some of the couples we work with decide that anything about work remains at work. Others agree not to discuss business after 7pm. What about you?

Similar to bringing work home, we don’t bring home issues to work. There’s a time and place for everything.

Usually you’re a couple before you start to work together. We, however, met through work.

Either way, we continue to nourish our marriage. This means spending quality time together. Often while traveling, our phones remain on airplane mode.

Be Ready for Intensity

My business is better because Steve’s on my team. I love the fact that we partner together personally and professionally. And he’s okay with our role reversal and that now I’m the boss.

Rather than rush into this next step, thoroughly think things through. Adding your husband onto your team can be the best business decision you make.

If you remain patient during the learning curve, create boundaries and become each other’s support system, your business will flourish in ways you never imagined. Plus, your personal relationship will strengthen from the intensity of working together. And in the end, if you find it impossible to deal with conflicts, a business coach can help you smooth out the rough edges.

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