Marie Forleo introduction

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I'm Marie

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For a few years, I’ve been predicting that more and more women will become the primary breadwinners in their family.

What’s more interesting though, is what I’ve been told in whispers and behind closed doors. . .

Many highly ambitious and successful women have a secret desire to grow their economic wealth, in part, so that their man doesn’t have to work.

Patience isn’t a talent, it’s a choice. Click To Tweet

One step before a woman becomes a full on sugar mama can be when a woman hires her man to work in her business. Here’s how it happens.

A woman’s business starts to take off faster than she can keep up. Her husband’s career is a bit stagnant. She needs help. He needs a paycheck. Voila!  A woman becomes her husband’s boss.

But is mixing marriage and business really a good idea? Are there do’s and don’ts we need to be aware of?

In this week’s episode of MarieTV, we’ll help a sweet couple in the UK who are struggling to be a couple in business.

You’ll learn a few key distinctions that can help untangle a situation like this whether it’s your significant other, or if you’ve hired a friend or family member.

In the comments below, I want to hear your take on this topic. Specifically, tell me:

1.  Have you ever mixed marriage with business? What worked and what didn’t? Remember to leave as much detail as possible.

2.  Do you have experience working for, or hiring your friends or family? Do you have lessons learned that can help us all?

Let me know. As always, share your insight and stories from a place of love and compassion. Nobody’s perfect and we’re all on this journey to learn and grow.

Thank you, as always, for reading and watching!

P.S.  We just shot new episodes of MarieTV with a brand new set. I’m SO excited for you to see it in a few weeks!

With love,

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157 comments

  1. Great advice Marie! Always picking the BEST person for the position instead of what is the most convenient or easiest person to go with (family or not). I’m in the process of growing my team and having the right people who are the best peeps for the position is key to my businesses success!! Thanks! Melissa Risdon

    • The best person for the job could extend outside of the day to day “doing of the job” – for example, if your spouse shares the same common goal, vision and can ensure you stay on that track together that’s something incredibly important – and could be more important than hiring the “perfect” person for the job who has different intentions which are not aligned with your goals.

      I don’t think there is ever a cookie-cutter solution and this notion of finding the “best person” is multifaceted – it all comes back to your goals.

      • Kia here! Yes Ameena that was definitely what played in to him being the best person for the job. Loving your newsletter BTW

        • Hey thanks Kia! I was really excited to see you featured on Q&A tuesday as I love what you do – always find myself drooling over your awesome stuff! 🙂

          Hope you guys find a solution – we had very humorous names for each other – I was the office bitch and John was the training monkey – it made us laugh and it helped clarify the roles!

          • Thanks so much Ameena! We will will be improving all sorts of things with the business over the next few months thanks to B-school which will also see us launch some very exciting products that will cater to both our strengths in the business. Maybe I can even learn to teach! 😉

      • Right on Ameena! My beloved man is also my business partner and sharing a common vision is worth so, so much. We lead Tantra workshops and retreats together + give 4 Hands Massage – and since we feel that this is the highest purpose of our relationship, there’s no getting around the “mixing love an biz” here.

        However, although we love each other and what we do, there’s always a danger that the spark and attraction dwindles when mixing love and work into the same cocktail….

        Here’s what we’ve found that really, really works to keep both our relationship and business thriving:

        1. Create clear timeframes / business hours, during which we only work on our business (organise and market workshops etc), and outside of that time we try to keep any business conversations to a minimum!

        2. Keep the really “boring” stuff (like calculations, invoices, purely practical and financial conversations) restricted to email – and leave texting and talking for more passionate subjects…

        3. BIG ONE: Re-polarize after a day’s work.
        This means that I do something to consciously get into my feminine softness, flow and receptivity: dance, have a bath, rub myself with fragrant oils… and he gets into his masculine focus and presence by something like meditation, yoga, chi gong or connecting to one of his male friends.
        We then can come together, ready for each other…

        (*These points are not really necessary when we lead a live event together, cause then we are naturally polarized, but for the day-to-day organizational stuff in between they are crucial!)

        If we get lazy with these things both out intimacy and business suffer – and when we practice this we are happier, healthier, more passionate and more successful.

        Enjoy!

        • Ronja, although my husband and I don’t work together (he is an oriental medicine doctor and I am a money coach), I love your suggestions of how to work together with your partner! I help the accounting part of my husband’s business but we both don’t have patience to listen to each other if something go wrong. I know for sure that we can’t run a business together.

        • Ronja,
          Thanks for the tips. My husband and I are just navigating these boundaries as well and it is key to be hearing this advice right now. I am trying to empower myself and my business and my husband shares the same goals as I do. We would love to bring his unique strengths and talents into my/our business and pull him out of the job he is not happy doing.

        • Suzanne

          Thanks Ronja! My husband and I are getting ready to get our business started full time and will definitely keep your suggestions in mind!!!

        • Really interesting points Ronja. My fiance and I are both working artists. During the day, I tend to come across as powerful, no frills, and clear about my work decisions. However, I’m finding that I don’t want to exert the same kind of dominant energy in the evening, and we have not been connecting lately. Your re-polarization suggestion sounds actually kind of amazing. Thanks for sharing

  2. Vidette Vanderweide

    Mmmm, good topic, yet, one I wish to not deal with. I love the hubs, however, I want MY dream to be mine while it builds our dream life together. I do believe that mixing marriage and business opens up Pandora’s box and when we have something we are passionate about, its best to build it with the best team possible, and simply celebrate it’s success with the hubs.

    Encourage him to build his dream, we build ours, and everything else is much more exciting!

    • It’s so great that you know Vidette that you and your spouse aren’t cut out to work together – it’s that clarity that can mean you can clink your champagne glasses when you have your wins and enjoy it together! I have a lot of admiration for those who know what they want!

  3. Great insights Marie! Even though I am just in the beginning stages of expanding my business, friends and family have already expressed interest in working for me and I think there’s some great things here for me to consider before hiring friends and family members. As always, you are right on Marie!

  4. While the fantasy of having a Sugarmama is enticing, reality seldom delivers on the promise of the dream. For some reason the song, ‘Love and Marriage’ was running through my head during the video. I’m thankful that you didn’t put a clip of ‘Pants on the Ground’ at the end~ that would have really burst my bubble! 😉

  5. I work with my husband and have since before we were married (going on almost 14 years)! I love it! Now, that’s not to say that working with your husband is all rainbows and gumdrops. Ha! Not even close.

    But the powerful creativity that comes out of working with someone you love and cherish is too good to miss out on! And I have a true PARTNER to help me though any situation, someone who takes as much responsibility for the business as I do. He shares the financial burden, cheers me on and makes hard decisions with me. We’re now running 2 businesses together and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    • Amber, that’s so inspiring! I love that you said that working with your hubbie isn’t all rainbows- absolutely!

      It’s funny because as I woke up this morning and was doing my daily biz brainstorm session-I realised that by just listening to one thing that Marie taught me, I’ve improved my business so much!

      I think that working with a partner/spouse involves leveraging both of your unique strengths and understanding that both parties need to contribute equally to the businesses success.

  6. My husband helped me with my office stretch & exercise mobile app. It was tricky as I soon realized I had not given him clear enough instructions.

    Another problem was that he would work on it after work and during the weekends, thus the time we spend together was severely limited!

    Other than those two, everything went fine!

    • Maria I hear ya! My adorable geeky fiance works on my websites and helps with both of my businesses and our precious time together often suffers because he puts extra hours to help me.

      I have to say though that I am so blessed to have him!

      I think we really have to be mindful to keep “business time” separated from “personal love time” AND make time for fun!

  7. Hey Marie!

    Ahh! You never cease to amazing me! Love your dance moves!!!

    It’s funny because what you wrote IS what I am dreaming of. Bringing hubby home from his hard manufacturing job is a dream of mine. I am not sure if I would hire him though. He is VERY smart and is very professional. Since both of us have Leadership characteristics I think we would clash. Although it would be interesting to see how he would react to be bossed by me 😉 He does all the bossing around here ( i let him) But when it comes to business, I’m taking role baby!

    I have been encouraging him to follow his own dream. He has a lot of talants ans is very multipassionate. I have a feeling we’ll have to hire each other, him for the amazing writing skills and me for pumping him up? LOL!!

    Another amazing episode! Thank you, Marie and team! Love you!!! <3

    • Hey Vicky,

      I’m divorced now! When my husband and I started a business, we had no money to speak of. I had an everyday job and on payday, I would hand over my wages, to his offsider. When I finally left my job, he was the brains and the brawn, I was the Girl Friday! He was all quantity, I was all quality. Our goal was the same and our business was successful for many years. But after a while, the ‘perfectionist’ in me kicked-in . That was the beginning of the end.

      We are still friends and he quite often asks for my opinion about certain things. But the difference now is, that when he ignores my suggestions, I can walk away unaffected. I couldn’t do that when his decisions impacted on our combined income.

  8. Brilliant Marie! Excellent advice.
    I am a visual artist and I don’t work with my husband, but I often get upset when he tries to ‘advise me’ about how to promote my artwork. His input on how to run the business side of my art practice never felt right, until it dawned on me the other day, that since he would never buy art for himself and never really has been interested in anything art related, how on earth did I expect his business advice to make any sense? He just isn’t qualified!
    Marie, I look forward to your videos all week.
    Thank you 🙂

  9. Hi Marie!

    I’m a 17 y.o. guy from Ukraine and I absolutely love your stuff!
    It’s energetic, fun and ACTIONABLE 🙂

    People like you are my ray of light at the end of the tunnel 🙂

    Thanks

  10. My “husband” and I have been in business for the past 3 years. We’ve also DEFINITELY had our obstacles with the relationship/work relationship balancing act.

    What i’ve found best is to acknowledge the tasks each is best suited to take on, and then Let Them Take It On.

    Initially I wanted us to share tasks- i.e. we’d be a duplicate copy of each other, so if one got burnt out, the other could step right in.
    That was a horrible idea because the areas of my expertise were not his (and vice versa), which meant we both got irritated when the other didn’t match competencies.

    Now we each work on very different parts of the business. We’ll check in with each other, and give feedback during a hiccup or difficult process- but mostly we let each other have the area of expertise in a given task or project. It shows we can trust each other to follow through with commitments, make mistakes, and learn from them for the better.

    We’re now each in process of hiring our own assistants for our parts of the business. It’s fun being able to have more focus on just one area of the biz, and trust my partner that he’s got a good handle on the other half.

  11. My husband John and I have worked together from the day we met.

    5 years on and we’ve started 4 businesses together in 2 continents (some we sold, some we have).

    We’ve always had clearly defined roles for what we do to avoid conflicts and problems. When things get heated and we find ourselves stepping on each others toes we take a chill pill and stand back. This is work. We review our business goal which is OUR common goal. We see how we are going to reach that and then get back to work.

    I struggle with this idea of having the “best person” for the job. Why? because someone could have the BEST credentials and skill set but have a totally different vision, agenda and goals causing more problems. The best person is multi-faceted, it’s a range of skills and experiences that make someone fit for the job – throw in their desire to get YOU where you want to be and then they become the best person.

    In the same way we NEED to know our strengths and when we need to say “Urrr I need help here” we need to do the same with anyone we work with – some qualities can make up for little shortcomings …

    Obviously working with your spouse is something really challenging and is not for everyone. And it’s ok to say you don’t want to work with your spouse. The clarity and knowing what you want is incredibly important – and some marriages aren’t cut out for the office.

    • Dorrie

      I’m with Ameena and Sara on this. My husband and I have worked together for almost 25 years. I think the key elements that have made our partnership successful are our overall shared vision and the fact that we both understand our strengths, which are very different , and we have very clearly defined roles in our business that cater to those strengths. On a day to day basis we are generally working on completely different aspects of the business and really respect each others ability to make autonomous decisions in our areas of expertise. I think no matter who you work with, you need to interact with each other with clear communication, patience and respect. This is crucial if you are working with someone you go home with!!! If you can master these skills with your partner, you have a huge opportunity to enrich your relationship…and when you mess up… at least you get to kiss and make-up 😉

  12. Great topic again!

    Working with friends or family is a double edged sword. But it can be really great, when the experienced friend is ‘teaching’ the boss the trade secrets. The other way around is not so good, devoted friends can often become bitter rivals.

  13. Oh my goodness! So glad the hubs is NOT into the woo! I don’t think our marriage would survive us working together!

    Your advice about Kia treating her husband the same as any other team member is great, Marie. It’s so easy to have over-the-top expectations of our close family members and friends that we don’t have of someone else and then jump on them when they don’t match up. Pretty sure I won’t be having this issue but who knows, right?

    (PS: I could watch you dance all day – you just look like you have so much fun doing it!)

    • Yes I am going to try and take Marie’s advice for me and chill-lax on the expectations and up the patience!

  14. Oh My…I hired my husband when I was photographing weddings…BIG mistake. We don’t have the same way of working when at a live event so it turned ugly fast. Now that I’m leading Soul*Full retreats and teaching my eCourses, I’ve hired him to help me put titles and music onto my blog videos. He is a PRO at this AND I don’t have to sit there with them. He does his thing perfectly, and I can focus on doing my thing. it’s a win win.

    • I think, Catherine, it goes to say that when someone is clear on what they need to do, the task is taken care of in a blink of an eye (and yes, the condition is that they HAVE to be good at that).

      You can easily bring that clarity if you get into habit of documenting your business processes. It doesn’t have to take long and it can be very basic – name of the process, when and how it needs to be performed and what is the expected outcome.

      So, YOU don’t have to be a great teacher. All you do is refer your partners/assistants/interns to your business manual and they have all info they need at their fingertips.

    • That’s fantastic Catherine! That’s what I’m looking at with bringing my hubby on board with my biz – letting him find his own sweet spot!

  15. Milda J.

    Hi all:)
    …My partner helps me a lot throughout last few years and he is one the best people I have tried. Hiring family mambers/friends is risky and I fully agree with Marie, I have regreted hiring somebody just because they are close to me. There were few issues with being a boss of my own partner, but we have managed to balance it. I only need assistance with my work part time and non-regularly, so hiring my partner is the best solution .

  16. Marie. You have great starting points for what to consider on this topic. I am a sexuality educator and writer and talk and write much about all of the complexities of intimacy and relationships in all parts of our lives including work intimacy (even if we don’t work with a partner). It is such a large topic that the only way I can sum it up here is to say it all depends on so many things. But, in my view, being conscious and intentional in all of our choices and interactions is key for how to live all situations in life including this situation if we choose it.

  17. OM goodness Marie what great advice!

    10 years ago I left my career as a Nurse Manager in an Emergency department to help my husband grow his business. And my biggest concern,at the time, was whether we could work together and make sure our marriage would survive this move. Well I think we have been really successful at this – our business has grown and we are still very happily married.And we both love what we do!

    We have done that by having our own unique role/job that we are individually accountable for, the ability to talk and communicate, even over the tough stuff.

    We have yearly business plans/goals that keep us focused and working towards the common goal. And we set aside a weekend together every year to formulate this plan – removing ourselves from family, home and work. This is also a fun time for us as a couple as we get to spend time just together! And we devote some time during this weekend to concentrate on our own personal goals and goals as a couple.

    Also great advice about employing friends and family – we are often trying to help out our loved ones but employing them is not the best way – as we have found out. Our very best employees have been found by advertising and selectio through interviews.

    And BTW – I luuve your pants too and I want some!!!!!

  18. Mr D and I are moving in this direction. He already helps out with some very specific things in my business and we are moving to him getting more involved over time.

    What we have found works for us is getting very specific on what his skill sets are and where there is a need for them in the business. We also have clear roles and responsibilities and a “code of conduct” as you would have in a traditional company. Helps keep our relationship protected when we are working together.

    Then we outsource anything else rather than trying to fit ourselves into skill sets we just don’t have or take us away from our most important priorities.

    We are both clear that if there comes a time that working together is damaging the relationship, then we won’t work together anymore as our family lfie is more important than anything.

    For us, having strong boundaries is key too.

    So I think that it is the forward planning and being intentional that makes it work for us.

  19. Hi Marie,
    Having worked for over 15 years in our family business (biggest tennis center of Hungary) I know all the ups and downs. I worked with my father, my mother, my two siblings and since a couple of years even my sisters husband side by side. Teaching, tournament organization, summer camps, birthday parties etc. You really get to know each other. But since having children and living farther away it is not an option for me to work there anymore.
    Communication is the key. And yes, there is a lot of yelling and crying involved. But you can be more honest with each other. Help each other out. Ask for favors.
    But you have to have the same vision for the future.

  20. Ooooh juicy topic Marie. It’s definitely a tough one. I have hired `exes’ in the past to do mainly programming and coding jobs. I have pretty clear guidelines, deadlines and a vision for my work and what I expect as an outcome so I always try to give as much time as possible to tell them about upcoming work that I need done so they can fit it in their schedule.

    That said it can be harder to put your foot down when their work is not up to spec as it’s your lover you’re talking about and so you can’t treat them like you would a client or a service provider (yes you should treat everyone with respect), but when you’re not intimately involved you can be more objective and have a business relationship discussion).

    I tend to think, on reflection, it’s not a road I would go down again. If you leave them or vice versa you can be left in the lurch with your work too. That can be damaging when you’ve given out passwords or control of your digital assets.

    Best to hire the right people for the job on business terms.

    Natalie

  21. Great advice Marie, love it!
    My business is growing exponentially while my husband has just lost his job. Very tempting to try to get him on board….but honestly, I don’t think we’d survive…and I think he has to find himself and finally try to discover what he loves. I do ask for help now and again and that seems to work well! thanks, great words of wisdom…and great music. Never actually thought about whether I would hire him if he was not the love of my life….thanks!!!

  22. Linda

    My husband & I have been married for 17 years, and working together for 11 of those. We bought a business together, which I acknowledge would be vastly different from one of us having an existing business, then bringing the other on board.
    We work very well together. It’s great having a common goal, and someone who understands 100% what’s going on. We find having clearly defined roles works. Also if there’s a disagreement – NEVER let it get personal. And always present a united front to the staff. We try not to talk shop too much at home (except for maybe an unwind glass of wine) and also have hobbies outside of work – ironically some we also do together!
    Working with a life partner wouldn’t suit every relationship. We’re lucky in that it does for us.

  23. Hi Marie,
    This is great advice, and great timing!
    I soft-launched my first business last week, with my husband actively involved. He’s quite an entrepreneur himself, so he’s been SO valuable to me… but I can see how things could start to spiral if there weren’t clear guidelines.
    Even though we are just at the beginning of the process, it’s already clear that you are spot on about treating your spouse with the exact same respect and kindness as you would anyone else. Another thing that cropped up was that I couldn’t assume that he knew I was grateful for all his help. Remembering simple things like saying ‘thank you’ make a huge difference.

  24. Thank you! This was so interesting. I am not in this situation but something that I know I would totally get myself into some day. Very cool. As usual, answering questions before I have them. How’s that for efficient?! Love ya girl. 🙂

  25. My favorite point of this was not hiring someone because they need a job or they feel sorry for that person. I have never done this personally, but my husband did and it TOTALLY backfired.

  26. From the premise of the question: “She needs help. He needs a paycheck.”

    My Wife is automatically invested in my work and business choices just from being invested in me. She’s a terrific source to bounce ideas off of and get input, an insider resource I value.
    If she were to get involved directly in a project we would have to define our work relationship — is your spouse one of the managing partners (because of the being one of the owners)? Or hired help? For how long? How does working at the business help you spouse’s career goals or help them develop toward their ideal job?

  27. Jasmine

    I think the most important thing when working with your man or when just running a business in general, is to keep clear lines of responsibities and duties.

  28. OMG!!! I could have written that letter that Kia wrote. My hubby and I have been working together for 7 years now and Marie’s advise is right on. I wish I would have thought about making sure he was the most qualified person for the business before bringing him on board. I was in a tight spot and needed emergency help and he was there so I grabbed him. Needless to say, if he wasn’t my hubby, I would have fired him a long time ago. Not that he isn’t an amazing, talented person just not the right person for this company. Of course 7 years later it is hard to change it up but we are certainly working on it.

    • I feel your pain Angee, things have worked out (and will continue to work out). I have never regretted bringing him in to the fold…it just worked out a little differently from how I expected!

  29. Shannon

    Great topic! I know I would not be able to work with my fiancé unless there were extremely defined roles. He’s extremely left brained and I’m naturally extremely right brained, and we’re both take charge slightly bossy people.

    It works well in our life together, but don’t think I could go there. I got a job at someplace he used to work and that was difficult enough on us.

    We had the classic issue of me venting about work and him telling me how to fix it, only he was really invested in the outcome. When I was able to communicate that I already had enough effing bosses and didn’t want another one it got better.

    This is most of why I’m starting my own business. For one, I’m passionate about my service, and for another, I can’t keep working in left brain environments where a different approach to problem solving and organization is frowned upon and process is everything.

  30. It’s really fun to work with your partner. For anyone considering it, it’s good to be curious about why you’re doing it.

    If you’ve been sitting with the energy of:
    “what’s my purpose and passion?” or “what am I truly here to do? What’s my mission in this lifetime?” pay attention to that vibe.

    You have something that only you can bring to the table, make sure you’re authentically you!

  31. I love your pants too Marie!

    Great question to ask yourself “if his resume came in, would you hire him?” I would not hire my hubs but I still love him!!!

  32. Tara

    This is a great topic! My husband and I started a business together shortly after we got married. It was his dream and I was happy to help him fulfill it. I think the best best best piece of advice in the video is ‘treat your spouse like you would treat anyone else you would work with’ ….with respect. It’s easy to let work disagreements spill over to home life. With the stress of opposing viewpoints, different styles of dealing with others, and extremely big workloads, we opted out of our business in favor of a happy home and family life. But we learned so much in the process that we wouldn’t trade the experiences we gained.

  33. Brigitta

    I think couples or family can work together very well. Heck, so much of a marriage can BE like a business! books to keep, events to schedule, responsibilities to assign… As some other commenters have said, you need to share the goal rather than just hire a spouse to stuff envelopes or whatever. On top of that, I think the trick is you both have to FEEL like you’re on equal footing, but let your individual strengths shine. I worked with my late husband for 4 years in a 3rd (unrelated!) party’s music management microbusiness and it was great. We had each other’s backs both emotionally if some drama was hitting hard, and with steppin’ in to help out when needed. It also helped in our case to both be understanding about the required hours and constant on-call nature of that industry. We became an indispensable team!

    On the flip side, I’ve done freelance work for family and loved ones from time to time that brought a cloud of obligation and icky-feel resentment. Are they asking for more than a regular client? Am I uncomfortable being strict about boundaries since I have to continue our relationship years and years after the work is completed? Bleh. Now instead of approaching it the same way I would a professional client, I just make what I think they need, present it, and if they don’t like it, that’s fine. No endless back and forths and “oh, can you do this too?”.

  34. Good point Marie. Too many of us can feel “sorry” or responsible for loved ones in their lives and consequently do not make objective business decisions.

    Though you can have a successful marriage and business together, it is best to define roles and respect each others strengths early & consistently. The roles can be very different in marriage than they are in business.

    Have worked with enough women that were clear in their business roles, but were not as definitive in their personal. And consequently resented their husband in their marriage when the issue was purely business…

    Remember what the Donald says “This Is Business, Not Personal”. If that is not respected or appreciated, then there is no sense in working together. No one benefits. 😉

  35. This is an interesting question on a similar vein. Not because I am married or hired my husband but because my boyfriend and I both work from home and we are both starting business.

    We have very different strong suits (and things that we aren’t so good at.) Our opposite work ethics make it difficult at times to both work from home & get involved in what the other person is doing.

    So we don’t work together on the same thing but we are constantly asking each other for help/feedback/guidance when needed. Which is both good and bad. But it is what it is.

    We make the most of it and it’s definitely helping me grow as a woman, friend and girlfriend..but sometimes I wish he had a traditional job outside of the home!

    Keep the dancing coming!
    xo Johanna

  36. This is so great to hear – especially because my hubby and I are in the process of expanding my biz with a position he created for himself! Our skills and talents are completely different, so when we decided to see about him leaving his career to join me, we decided it would ONLY work if he was doing something he loved. We’re testing it out for the next 3 months – we’ll see!!! xo

  37. My husband and I have been working together for the last three years. It took about two years for us to find our groove. Honestly, if a person isn’t in a really strong relationship, I don’t recommend it. If they are, then it’s the best.

    What helped us the most was getting really clear on our different work styles, what we needed, what got in the way of working and how we can best support each other. Ooohh… took a long time to figure those out. 🙂

  38. Marj

    I did start a restaurant with my NOW ex, and CONSIDER YOUR EXIT PLAN. All big business plans ask for your exit plan and I unfortunately envisioned our success, but not the successors….
    So, it has not been fun or easy to get out of – my mother and my kids all work there, well I am working (and well, thank you) with my boyfriend on a totally different biz. There is WAY more to any relationship than you can put in a paragraph, but the GREAT things to come out of this are:
    1) a successful restaurant where many people feel at home, and we are told that all the time.
    2) Three kids that do well at their jobs and have good learning experience and work ethic. The staff is not forced to work with “the boss’s daughter”, she is well liked, does a fantastic job and will be a good business woman with lots of on the job training. My ex, not so much. He is a great guy, awesome cook, hard worker, but not management material. Would like my daughter who is in college to be in charge but it is too much for her right now.
    3) I envisioned this because we were not making money and now we are providing income for many people, including those four and the girlfriend who works there some…. Ahhh, no resume, no recommendations – that is the sticking point. She is unable to get a job, so I guess is automatically qualified to co-manage the place in his eyes. And even if NOT manager, everyone knows the bosses significant other is going to be considered an extension of that boss.

    Figure out your roles ahead, when you have a family and own a house, you do have a business – and you have to define your skills and strengths. I think this role reversal is a much deeper subject than one little tweetable video, and a partnership is the best course. When one is boss of the other, it makes for a week partnership – each have to hold up their end of the bargain. My partner now will hold his ground and talk things out and that is the huge difference.

  39. Love your pants Marie, I wish I could also wear that one here.

    I just recently joined my boyfriend’s business recently but it is not a full-time. I just work with him whenever he needs my help. I am helping him while I am doing my own virtual assistants jobs. Sometimes it is great to work with him, sometimes it is not. Maybe because most of the time we are not on the same page.

    Thanks for such a great advice Marie! By the way I watched your interview with Mixergy founder. You are such a great inspiration to me and to my boyfriend.

    Love,
    Carissa

  40. Every time I have an issue you are reading my mind, how do you do that ?

    This solved yes another concern I have, Thank You Marie

    Elainee xx

  41. WOW! Double WOW! Crazy double WOW!

    This topic couldn’t be more timely for me.

    My husband started and has successfully run his own business for nearly 20 years. Now I am starting my own business, I’ve been looking to him for guidance and advise. He has been more than willing but he keeps asking me, “What do you want/need me to do?” It wasn’t until I watched this video that I finally got want he was asking: What are my goals? What is my vision for this company?

    Talk about an “Ah-ha” moment. I’m even in B-School! Marie might need to break out the crayons and hand puppets for me 😉

    Will we work together some day? I don’t know. But I will say this: I would love to be considered a Sugar Mamma!

    Love your stuff, Marie!

  42. My husband has just recently taken on more of a role in my business and so far it is working out great! I think the key is two-fold… First, ive made him responsible for parts of my business that he is uniquely qualified for, so he is working at things that play to his strengths (where, frankly my skills are lacking)! And the second thing that has been important for us is that I’ve had to clip his wings a bit! He had built his own successful business during our first ten years of marriage and he is very bright, very motivated… Absolutely a leader in his own right. But, much as I’m thrilled to have his help, every now and then I have to remind him that this is MY business and he just works here! We are learning together… He how to defer to my decisions and me how to delegate and trust him with the things I’ve asked him to be responsible for. So far, it’s been going well and I think with clear communication and expectations, it will continue to be great! 🙂

  43. Hi Marie, Great video! I not only work with my husband, but I also work with my daughter. One tip I can give since I live this everyday is that each person needs to have their own specific job descriptions, duties, etc. Communication is the next biggest tip. We need to communicate directly when we need quite time, assistance or simply a time out. It is a work in progress and we have been successfully working it for three years now.

    Great stuff!

  44. You are right!

    We will never hire because of convenience, only because it matches our need.
    Dave Ramsey said that companies don´t hire you because you need a job, they hire you because you can fulfill a need .

    Great advice.

    Saludos desde México

  45. My husband is an amazing writer (novels, screenplays, poetry), but in our 19 years together, he has always been seriously underemployed.

    Steady income and health insurance are things I ALWAYS provided for my family. But last year I decided I didn’t want to stay on staff at my hospital job.

    I thought my coaching business and writing career could support us, but I had no guarantees…our family had always needed the “security” that my job provided. How would we be able to survive without my staff/salaried/benefitted position?

    I asked myself what I really, really, really wanted. My answer was “I want both my husband and I to do work that’s completely aligned with our life purpose. I want us to do work we both love, and be paid handsomely. We can’t know what the future holds, but I know we can figure this out.”

    Once I got clear about what I did want, I started to get all these ideas about how we could make it work. Doug does about 1-2 hours of copy writing and graphic design work for me each week, but mostly we do our own thing.

    With shared or separate projects, the key for us to making our arrangement work is constant communication and getting what I call “strong agreements.”

    We come to an agreement about how we want our day or week or future to look and then I write it up and send an email to him. He can revise it if necessary, but in the end we’re completely clear about what we want and how to get it.

    I’ve learned from our experience that there is always a solution to meet everyone’s needs – but it may require really thinking outside of the box.

    • Dan

      Stacey,

      This is a really interesting arrangement.

      Before coming to a very similar arrangement, my partner & I went through nearly two years of brutal misunderstanding & seat-of-pants decisions, ultimately leading to the near destruction of our relationship altogether.

      Is this system of communication and cooperation you have come to really working?

      -Dan

  46. My “husband” just joined my company this year and he has added so much value. My customers love our teaching together and it doesn’t hurt to have a Ph.D. on staff to add to the credibility of our system. Plus, since we teach finding true love and wealth, we give our audience inspiration that they can have it all as they witness the love and respect we have for each other on stage and in our teleclasses.

    Our already amazing personal relationship has gotten even better since we joined forces.

    More than just getting along, the most important element is that you are both aligned with a wealthy mindset as he will drag you down if he has money baggage.

    Sadly, I see many marriages end when the woman becomes super successful. This is a great topic!! thanks, marie

  47. Truth matters – having worked for a major blue chip company before having children, I really thought I could contribute something to my husband’s business. However he didn’t respond well (or as I expected him to respond) to my smart solutions – he kept telling me that his business was nothing like a blue chip company, so I basically didn’t know what I was talking about! Humpf!! In the end I got so fed up with it that I fired myself! Now I just stick to my creative work and ask him opinion when I want it and things are better (but I still hate it if he asks me to type for him)!
    Great post Marie. Thank you.

  48. I have worked with my husband for the last 7ish years. He is a programmer and has developed my whole back end system. I think the key (like Maria say) is to make sure that you are hiring the best. I know that I could not get anyone better to do the work. It also helps that we have clearly defined roles. I don’t try to do his work and he doesn’t do mine.

    Michelle

  49. 2 years ago my husband stepped into my bussiness and it has grown sooooooo much since then!! i really needed this person i could trust a 100% to talk about decisions, changes, investments & organisation!

    HE covers a big part of the bussiness but indeed, the part HE is good at! for example: he does most of the rough work of jewelry making (and i do the details)
    and I do everything I want to control a 100% , for example: communication with my clients & most of the designing.

    he told me before we started to work together: it is still YOUR bussiness & YOUR project. tell me what to do and i will do so.

    he is a musician so in the evenings & weekends he does HIS thing with HIS project.

    this is working out amazingly well for us but the most important part is that we love to spend (lots of) time TOGETHER!

  50. Thanks Marie for another fabulous episode. I have totally had that thought of wanting my husband to be able I quit his job, and I also have the idea of us working together, but a huge fear about what that would mean. We do work a small amount. One of the things I do is lead Yoga and Dance Retreats. Even though I am the teacher, marketer and coordinator and he has no interest or skill in any of those areas, the is a perfect support person on retreat. He LOVES to set up things for me and be my assistant. He is also such an emotional support for all the participants. I could not imagine doing retreats without him. This is currently a small part of my business, but if it did grow into a larger part, I could see him being more involved. I think the most important part is knowing exactly what our skills are and ARE NOT! I cannot expect him to do things he cannot do, even though I might WISH he could!
    Since he works a “regular job” I try not to over burden him with my business needs.
    Thanks again for the stellar advice!
    Love
    Joanna

  51. Me and my boyfriend work together on our startup project – which even got funding, and we moved to the UK from Hungary.

    See, may risk factors here: we work together, we signed a paper (all the 4 cofounders signed it) that we will work on Antavo for at least 3 years, plus, we moved together to a foreign country. Risky? I dunno! Working with him works like charm, and we really like each other as colleagues also.

    My takeaways:
    – it’s good to have somebody else in the business, not only you two.
    – our rule is, that our relationship is the first. Our business will never run our relationship wrong.
    – you need to have exact roles: he has entrepreneurial experience, and he is a designer. I am the marketing person, with attention to details, and I am good at text editing. We debate a lot about the rest, but it’s okay 🙂
    Check out how we look here: http://www.antavo.com/en/company/team

  52. Love this video! My husband and I work together at http://revivenyc.com and it has been a journey on learning how to keep everything balanced. The BIGGEST lesson we have learned is how to keep the channels of communication open and to recognize that each other’s differences are really our strengths. Too often we think we want someone exactly like us but what we really need is someone to balance us…both in life and in business.

    Keep sharing Marie! We love it!

  53. Hey Marie,

    Enjoyed the episode.

    I’ve worked for my wife in her Internet and computer services company for years–it’s been great.

    Having a spouse in your company is a great benefit and can tip the scales toward them being the best person for the job rather than bringing in an outsider because you know that person will have your best interests at heart, you can ask them for advice about *anything*, and you should be able to get along with them.

    I think three top tips for making it work are: 1.) both parties should check their egos at the door, 2.) no micromanaging, and 3.) make sure both parties are passionate about your business, because work will happen at home, and if you both enjoy it, working during “off” hours won’t cause as much friction.

  54. This is a topic that’s close to home for me. My husband and I met through business when he helped me with a chapter from my first book. (He’s a chef and I’m a nutritionist). We fell in love during that process, and now our two businesses are deeply enmeshed on all levels and we’ve just released our second book – a cookbook – officially coauthored by the two of us.

    Marie your point about hiring someone who’s the best for the job is SO essential. That’s an absolute must as a starting point. What I’ve learned is that we both bring totally different things to our businesses and approach, and RESPECT is a hugely important factor. I can be a control freak, and he does things differently than me sometimes. (okay, a lot of the time) BUT there’s great value in his way and in my way. As long as we recognize that, respect each other, and find the places that we overlap (especially those really important places like our end goals, our values, and our fundamental approach), then we’re fine. Sometimes we get caught in the minutiae and can squabble, but more often than not we’re able to rise above that stuff and see the big picture of what we’re doing.

    If you can make it work, marrying work and your home life can be truly magical!

  55. This one hits home for sure! Sometimes the social worker in me over-rides the business owner in me…and then we have some shit pie! No good for the maker or the eater!

  56. Hi Marie.
    I Love your videos and advise and look forward to each one.
    My husband and I have been working together since 1984 and have been running our business together for the last 13 years. I think something important to be said is,..your relationship at home must be a good one filled with trust, respect and good communication, before you can expect it to work out in a business situation. I also think that the couple needs to learn what each person is great at, and let them do it.
    Besides working with my husband, as a family business, we also work with our son, my sister and our daughter in law. It is wonderful to surround ourselves each day with the wonderful individuals who we love, who are great at the positions they fill and are as focused at creating the best company experience possible, as we are.
    I can’t imagine doing anything different or working with anyone else. We are truly blessed having this situation. With that being said, I hear from and see couples every day who, it is obvious, would not be able to survive a few months working with their spouse. It’s not for everyone.

  57. I’ve worked with my man, at the worker-owned bicycle repair shop we opened with 4 other mechanics.

    We were equal partners, though also leads in separate parts of the business to which we would defer to the other’s expertise.

    I know a number of etsy sellers who have hired their husbands, some for the convenience of it, yet I see many of them also acting in equal partnerships with creative control ultimately with the creative lady.

  58. I am really enjoying your videos. 🙂 To answer your question, yes, my husband and I have been working together for over a year, at my company. He joined me to be the creative end and produce original music, audio and video. He also joined me as a co-host on my daily radio show. As a result of him joining me, we have had more “intense fellowship” in the last year than in previous years, however, we have been able to work through these issues because he is the best candidate for the job. I’m a retired marriage and family therapist, so my training and understanding of not only our personality types, but also ways we communicate differently have played a significant part in what we do. My husband has made what I do a ZILLION times better and our company has prospered because of it. One thing I had to learn was that where my husband is very linear, I am very all over the place (LOL)… I’m a magnetic personality…and he isn’t so much. However, his “anal” way of looking at things, has made my “all over the place” presentation much better. Plus we’ve also brought our level of honesty to a different level because before I was cheering him on as a composer etc. However, when it came to presenting these ideas and other things to people to buy, I found that I had to stop being the cheerleader and “be more frank” HA (If you knew me, you’d know I’m already too frank) Anyway, that has been getting easier, but it’s a skill. I think couples can make things work, however, the downside is that when couples work together, you have to make sure you take time to PLAY together… we’re still working on that one.

  59. Great advice, thanks Marie … but suppose the problem here really is that the lady is a “crappy teacher”? Solution: send her husband (and all her staff) to Morie Forleo for business training.

    • Yes Steve I really am, and Yes I am now a part of B-school and it is helping loads!

  60. Too funny, we were just talking about this. You know what’s potentially more dangerous than hiring your husband? Having to fire him 😀
    Over the past 14 years, we have worked together, co-created, stepped apart, taken separate learning journeys, and now are at this rich juicy deep place of exploring how we could work together again. But this time, it’s from both of us doing our big processing and coming to a common WHY agreement, getting our WHY in alignment, then our “hows” can honor our unique talents and strengths, and “what” we create will be truly authentic and powerful. What a great ride!

  61. Maria Jose

    If you don´t have any other choice, then yes you can learn how to train people but training is really vocational (I have years of experience as trainer, you need to enjoy the job even if it´s only a bit) and one thing is passing on the information, a very different thing is to succeed in really getting the other person to learn what is needed.

    I would say: write the job specifications for that role, describe the tasks and objetives according to those specs on paper and hire a trainer or delegate the job to someone within the company that does have the patience to train. Then you can continue with your real duties as director of your company and enjoy your day with your husband during surprise breaks ;0)

  62. Love this topic! I work with husband, as well, in addition to running my own business. But when it comes to working with him, I always try to remind myself to own up to my responsibilities.

    We each have roles in the company, and it’s important to complete the tasks that are required by that role. Just because we’re married, doesn’t mean we can give each other a free pass.

    Lots of love to all of you!

  63. Hi Marie,

    My husband and I formed a business partnership 37 years ago, two years before we got married. It is a success story all the way.

    To make the partnership work we used something we learned from Werner Erhard called the Power Formula. One of us was the power source, the other the power feeder. The feeder always made the source right, never wrong,, no matter what. We changed positions positions as we deemed necessary for our skill sets, circumstances etc.. The employees however, always had one clear boss that did not change.

    After we sold our three businesses in order to sail around the world, (10 year circumnavigation) we continued to practice the formula. One of us was the ship’s captain, and always right. Again, we switched roles as needed, joking around with “Aye, aye, Captain!” & “Yes, dear.” It worked.

    We are running a jewelry business together now, and continue to use the power formula. We use a magic word that reminds us to be “off” work and “on” personal time to keep home and work separate.

    Since we were equal partners our situation was different than hiring someone. Would I hire my husband for the position he is in now in our business. Yes!

  64. Hey, Marie — its not often I disagree with your advice, but I sort of do about only hiring “the best person for the job”. If you look at older business models, family almost always worked together because that’s what they did, and they made it work. My husband and I both come from such families (mine farmed, his owned a classic Wisconsin tavern). Life and work were intertwined, always.

    He and I started working together before we were married, and lived “over the store” for 14 years. When we closed that business, he started his own small manufacturing company and I started my own business. But he still does work for me and I do work for him.

    My advice to Kia is to stop thinking about teaching her husband how to do the job she wants done exactly the way she wants it, and for them to focus on what they want to build together. Both will end up doing things that aren’t within their strongest skill set — that comes with the territory in self-employment. But when you know each other so well and are committed to working together, the business can evolve to take advantage of the marriage of strengths and skills.

    Because my husband had started that first business before I came on the scene, we had a prenup to protect what he had built when we got married. By agreement, it expired after 5 years, because we knew by that time my own contributions to the business would have made it only fair to consider it equally mine as his.

    It’s pretty normal to protect what you’ve built, and I think that’s what Kia may be doing in thinking she has to train her husband to do her business her way. I’m just afraid she’s losing out on what could be a great opportunity for growth — for her, for him, for them, and for *their* business.

    That said, my husband and I can work together 24/7, but have never found a greater challenge to marital harmony than home remodeling. My advice: Don’t expect your partner to guess what you’re thinking and understand your fears and concerns, let alone their own. And never, ever, ever try to apply wallpaper together.

  65. Pat

    The Hubs & I will be together 30 years in october. His family instilled in him – through example and lectures – that he was expected to Be His Own Boss. When he started his company (designing, implementing, testing large-scale service networks), it was a 1-man show. I was working a full time job elsewhere in a great corporation doing Linux system & network administration. I have a B.A. in Business Management.

    He loved his client work, but was constantly whining “help me help me” on everything else. I was already “helping” him at nights and on weekends. We talked a lot, and made the decision that I would come on board as his employee, servicing my own clients and participating in running the biz. It was the hardest 14 years of my life.

    When I came on board, I said “Let me be the “IT” department – I can take care of the computer network (which, unlike Marie’s company, is way more than a laptop in the living room! 🙂 ). That’s what I did for money, and I did a great job. Let me be the accounting department, deal with the tax stuff….”. *I* saw me in the biz being with responsibilities of my own. *He* saw me as his minion, his gopher, his servant, and told me to generate revenue (do client work) and just “show up” in the office. The “showing up” turned into…here’s a bill…write the check now. The espresso machine needs to be cleaned. My invoice that’s now 2 months overdue in giving to the customer…I finally entered my hours in “word pad” – go make an invoice out of it right away because it’s 2 months overdue…”

    When I came on board, I told him having a paycheck, making money in my own name was extremely important – I am the first woman in the history of my family to go to college and do something other than marry by 18 and have babies. Verbally, he agreed. But in practice, I saw only the first 2 paychecks. My “paycheck” ended up being a number decided on by him and the CPA to put on the books at the end of the year. Prior to joining his company, my career and salary were on a great trajectory, but working for him, I made less money than my previous employment, and had little access to money. Hubby controlled how much money I had access to (and let me know once that he didn’t like to see my checking account get above a certain (small) amount of money.

    For a long time, I loved my clients and the work I did for them so much, that I just dealt with the crapola of the biz side. Until I broke. It took me a while, but I went back to employee-ship elsewhere, only this time, I’m making more money in my own name than ever, and it goes into my own account that he has no access to. He is very upset, to put it mildly, that I “jumped ship”, but now, maybe – just maybe – we can continue to be married.

    Lessons learned:

    1) The IDEA may sound good, but what will you actually put into PRACTICE?

    2) Get things in writing, so that you can point to something solid and unemotional when things get off track.

    3) If things get off track, and it is a struggle to get them on track, or keep them on track, CUT YOUR LOSSES EARLY. Don’t be me.

    4) Create a division of labor – if you’re the boss, delegate, and if you don’t know how, learn. If you’re the employee, stay on your side of the labor line. Perform your assigned chunks of work, and don’t try to “boss” the boss.

    5) If you’re the boss, be willing to TRUST your spouse in the areas where they are the expert and you are not – that’s one reason you hire employees, yes?

    6) If you’re the boss, PAY your EMPLOYEE what they’re worth. Pay THEM before yourself…that’s what you would do if your employee was an unrelated person – a “regular” “real” employee, yes?

    7) If you’re the boss, pay your peeps on time, invoice on time, do your end of the biz.

    8) If you’re the employee, don’t stand for irresponsible business practices – would you continue to work for any other company that didn’t pay you? or didn’t pay you on time?

    9) When someone is whining “help me help me”, it may not be real. Help can be taking a task off their hands (i.e. giving them a fish). It can also be helping them figure out a system, or figure out a way to get it done (i.e. teaching them to fish). Be wary when peeps don’t want to learn how to fish, or they don’t want to delegate the entire fishing department (i.e. leaving the fishing up to the fisher-peeps and don’t micro-manage them).

  66. 1. Have you ever mixed marriage with business? What worked and what didn’t? My husband and I happily shared a building with our businesses in it for 15 years. Then…he retired and I put him to work for me. I took another 15 years to figure out how to make that work! We moved him around to different positions…until we found the right one for him. We still have disagreements on who is boss…but the thing that makes his presence in the company perfect is that he is as invested as I am in making my clients happy. PS>>>you don’t want the deets…they are pretty ugly at times: )

    I will say that one of the biggest problems was getting my husband to leave business at business.

    2. Do you have experience working for, or hiring your friends or family? Do you have lessons learned that can help us all? My daughter works for me too. She grew up with my business and it just kind of seeped in. She has such a good understanding of business that she is a real asset.

    The most difficult thing about having loved ones in your business is keeping professional separate from personal. I am sure that I talk to my husband in ways that I would never speak to a regular employee…and I know the reverse is true. We are also personally invested in the actions of our family so sometimes we feel a different kind of joy or disappointment with achievements or mess ups.

  67. I love you Marie. You are so off the hook entertaining and always spittin’ that knowledge. Yep, tried the business with pleasure thing with my hubby twice and it was a no go. This last time almost meant the end of the nookie breaks. I know that he and I are both very talented, but we work much better independently. Hope to join you one day for RHH. Peace.

  68. Hey Marie, I’ve never mixed marriage with business (seeing as how I’ve never been married, lol!) However, I did do some freelance work for my mother’s business a couple of years ago. While I enjoyed being creative, helping her and doing the work, it ultimately was not a good fit because she is a person that can really push my buttons. In my case, I felt like I was being underpaid and taken advantage of simply because I was her daughter. She kept having me do more work than was originally agreed upon because she wanted what I produced to perfectly reflect her vision. No issues with that, but like I said, I was putting in more time and effort without a pay increase; which she refused to give. Thus, I finally decided when I completed my last scheduled project that I was done taking on new projects. It was healthier for me and her, but I’m grateful for the experience because now I know better. – Hadley

  69. Michelle

    Great advice, Marie. Working with family was a recipe for disaster for me. Worked with my mother and two brothers for over 15 years. Nothing but high drama and nightmares. And to this day they are still arguing over the same things as 20 years ago. Don’t do it, B- School Babes!

  70. Marsha

    Wow… some posts make it sound awfully complicated. It shouldn’t be! Give each other a fair shake. Keep it simple ~ the rest is history. :))

    • Pat

      Agreed, Marsha. Most important words in your post: each other. It’s a 2-way street, and if only 1 is doing the fair shaking, it can be….not pretty. 🙂

  71. I REALLY appreciate Kia’s honesty & your kickass advice, Marie.

    And yeah- it IS tricky to mix marriage & work.

    My husband & I have a band together & we heavily rely on each other for our respective online bizs. It soooo aint easy. LOL.

  72. My husband and I are both solo-entrepreneurs, both working from home offices (eek!) so we rely heavily on each other in our work. We both have complimentary skillsets, so I’m able to help him in his business with some of the things he’s not so good at, and he can help me where I am a little lacking. It’s a good blend, and there’s been lots of conscious work along the way to be sure our relationship stays intact too.

    One of the biggest challenges for us was defining working hours and sticking to it. It is too easy to slip into business conversation when you’re having dinner…in a romantic restaurant…while the kid is at home with a sitter…on your anniversary. The insanity had to stop!

    Instead, we have dedicated ‘play time’ that is totally off-limits for shop-talk, business calls, or anything else that isn’t just plain fun. For us, the distinction is better. We know when it’s time to call it quits and spend time together – just the two of us or as a family. It also gives us both permission to say ‘you know, we’ve had a great time after school hanging out today, and now I’ve really got to finish (fill in the task here) before going to sleep tonight’. The shift from defining work hours to defining play hours made all the difference for us.

    There are other learning lessons along the way too, but that one was definitely the most important.

  73. LOL!

    i luuuuuv my Hub and find him irresistible … we travel fabulously, laugh all the time, snicker snootily about the same thangs BUT thus far, we do not seem compatible in biz. ohhhh, the stories. the silly tiffs. the turf wars.

    i wouldn’t rule it out … sounds kinda fun. and i do feel a smidge of envy when i read about couples with rockin’ businesses.

    maybe we’ll create a biz in which our differences complement and don’t clash … ’til then, we’ll have to save executive meetings for the bedroom, not the boardroom.

    great vid, Marie!

  74. It’s funny – my hubby has always had his hands in my business from the beginning as I was the passionate one who got my business started, but he “knows” business. The problem is that he knows business as it’s relative to him and his world (which is the event world totally opposite of Marie’s) so it doesn’t work for me or make sense to me. So over the years, as I have gained confidence and “know how” of how to run my business, I have not only hired people to take on the task work I was having him do, but we created boundaries as it was just getting to much and for sure getting in the way of our relationship. Definitely not healthy for either of us. So now the bigger decisions for the business are run through him but day to day stuff – I need to take care of it myself. Thanks Marie for this!

  75. Thanks Marie! Awesome video 🙂 I am recently married and to an amazing musician who since I have been watching your vids and sharing them with him has raised his rates!!! And started upping his value in so many ways. Im an idea woman so the trickiest part has been not giving him every idea I have for his business and encouraging him to run with it. I’ve had to hold back from that bc otherwise I know he’d be overwhelmed by it all. Now just trying to descern how to support him and myself to move to the next level of entrepreneurship. I am a holistic health practitioner, specifically, BodyTalk. It is amazing and has been our number 1 go to resource for moving through our bumps and even supporting our health, happiness and confidence in moving to our ‘next level’ as individuals and as partners.
    To anyone who is looking to really feel support from with themselves, their marriage, and their team I highly recommend BodyTalk! That’s why I got into it is because it worked so freakin amazingly!
    Thanks for the opportunity to share perspectives! Love to you and the community 🙂

    Emily

  76. Yep! I’ve worked with my man, and 3 times I’ve hired his kids. It works, and it doesn’t. I can relate to Kia. It brought out my insecurities of being a good manager. Created a whole lot of self doubt in my ability to manage a team. But they were great life lessons I wouldn’t trade for anything 🙂

  77. Kim Castle

    My husband and I have worked together for 21 years, in different forms, for the past 9 years in BrandU. I always say working with your spouse is like dog years, every year is times seven! : ) For five years our son worked with us…working with family is like pi : )

    Sometimes I’d go off and work on projects for major brands through advertising agencies, sometimes he’d go off and do projects for entertainment studios like Disney & Paramount but through it we’ve ALWAYS worked along side each other.

    I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There are definitely things I would have done differently along the way that would have made the journey MUCH smoother. I can honestly say we’ve just now come to a place where it’s really starting to soar and we’re profoundly happy— in our relationship, in our business, in ourselves.

    People have been on us for years to share how we do it, and one day we will. For now, your first tip…separate offices. : )

  78. Marie:

    Terrific video and interesting discussion.

    Could I work with my spousal overunit? No. Although she’s the lid for my pot, our working styles and philosophies are just SO different, that it would be impossible–and I think it would lead to the definite end of nookie breaks and those other wonderful benefits of being married.

    Have I worked for family before? Yes, I worked for my dad throughout high school, university, and full time for a few years after that. Working for family has its benefits and disadvantages–one of which is that the work day never ends and nearly all discussions start to centre around the business–“real life” or other stuff never gets a chance.

    Would I hire other family members? Oooh, that’s a tough one. I do agree with you that you should never hire somebody just because they (desparately) need a job or if they’re related if they’ve got no talent or inclination for it, but I would seriously consider it if they’ve got the right skills or potential skills–but I’d have to think about it just like any other hire–do I have the cash flow and the time/energy to train/mentor/supervise.

    Lawrence

  79. Lisandra

    Hi Marie! Thank you for your consistently great advice. I do have a bit of an off-topic suggestion though . . . you might consider adding that headdress shirt to the Goodwill pile! I know all the cool kids are doing it these days, but a lot of Native folks find the use of Native images, iconography, headdresses, etc. to be pretty offensive. Here’s the scoop: http://www.conspireforchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Is-My-Indian-Headdress-Offensive-PDF.pdf
    Thanks for considering it!

  80. I worked with my husband for 24 years. We didn’t have a choice living in the jungle, exporting plants. I learned that business conversatin stops in the evenings. We lived and worked in the same place so it was hard enough to create a home privacy when 20 workers, questions, fires to put out and dramas enacting (in Costa rica, all Spanish and Jamaican workers) i found it was too easy to continue talking about the business into the night and it was stressful and not very romantic! So i made a rule, after sunset, we are at HOME and not WORK and we did not discuss work.

  81. I worked with my husband and loved it. UNTIL we got a divorce and I realized that I had to divorce my company as well and had no rights and no protection. Here are my tips:
    1. Breaking up a business is just like breaking up a marriage. Put everything is writing like a partnership if you really want to be partners.
    2. Define your job descriptions. Write them out. If you’re hiring him, write a description for him.
    3. Pay your spouse as you would another employee. This is where I failed – I didn’t get my own paycheck, even when I worked full time, and that screwed me. I coudn’t prove my own income.
    4. Determine together, up front, that it’s a long term thing or just a temporary thing.
    5. Never fight in front of employees. We never did until the end of our marriage and it was awful for everyone.
    6. Do not spend every lunch hour and every meeting with your spouse. Have some separation during the day or you may isolate yourself overtime.
    7. Have an exit strategy.

    • Excellent advise (from someone who’s been there . . .)!

      I’m in my second marriage and I work for my husband part time. I bill him as a ‘contractor’ so it keeps things pretty clean and simple. However, he often wants me to me more of an ’employee’ . . . ya know, at his beck-and-call . . . It’s a challenge that we’re working through right now. He wanted to work in partnership in my business but I honestly couldn’t see where he would ‘fit in’. He definitely wasn’t the right person for my business. I many not be for his either. Something to consider . . .

  82. My husband and I are talking about teaming up right now. However, I asked him to be my partner rather than work for me. That would not be a good recipe for us. He is very smart and can cover my weaker areas. Like sitting through hours of training videos! 🙂

  83. I read Mix and Marriage, and it totally struck me that it’s Loving Day today. http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/the-heart-of-the-matter-love/

  84. Zuzana

    It’s so true that some women want to grow their economic wealth so their husbands wouldn’t have to work! I had a baby 7 months ago and was so excited to make my husband a stay at home dad. Even though I am not a practicing entrepreneur (yet), my job has a lot more flexibilty, freedom, and overall awesomeness than his job ever did. And, now we are both super happy. He loves getting his taking-care-of-the-baby on (sitting at a desk and staring at Excel all day drove him nuts) and I love getting my bring-home-the-bacon on… and I don’t feel like a sugar mama because I have no doubt in my mind that he has the harder job. PLUS, I get to build my business on the side (which I could never do while taking care of a baby full time). So, the huz, the baby and the mama are happy.

  85. Cynthia

    OMG, this is so topical. My ex husband and I work together and it can be a challenge because you have that history but like Marie says, in my case he is one of the best in the biz and business is business.

    I’m not sure how that will fly once I get a boyfriend and he gets a girlfriend but for now it works well.

  86. My boyfriend and I are creating a business together, online virtual training and nutrition coaching. There have definitely been rocky times, especially in the beginning when I had a really hard time opening up to the idea of being partners. But since then I have realized that I need him and he needs me and this business could not exist if it weren’t for both of us.

    There are aspects of this business that I have no desire or possibly could not do without him and there’s no way he could build the brand without me, as it is built around my image, my story and my personalized coaching.

    It works well because we are both so incredibly passionate about making it successful. But we have to set aside “couple time” where discussing the business is NOT allowed.

  87. I just visited with an awesome couple who work and travel (at the same time) together. They run their publishing company from their 27′ Airstream while on the road about 6 months of the year. Laura also writes a blog and she’s a hoot! I spent most of my afternoon yesterday reading it. The blog name is ‘Riveted’, here’s the link: http://www.riveted-blog.com/2012/06/index.html

    Kevin and Laura seem to have things worked out pretty well to keep business and relationship all well intact. Laura admits she gets excited about things and can tend to blurt out “I want to read this to you!” while Kevin is focused on work. Kevin, like my husband, wears ear buds and says he was often popping them in and out to listen to Laura. Kevin was sort of embarrassed to admit that he and Laura have worked the issue out by emailing one another even though they literally sit directly across from one another in their Airstream. Brilliant solution! My husband and I do the same thing at times. Hey, whatever works. And it seems to work well for Kevin and Laura. Check out their blog, it’s a very fun read!

    Thanks Marie . . . love the pants too darlin’ . . .

  88. Oh yes, love the pants! Love the shirt too, something my husband would love in a men’s t-shirt, he is Native American. I hired my husband, he was not my husband then, just an able bodied person right for the job, employment services for adults with developmental disabilities. It was only after two years and my transfer to another department when I was no longer his boss he asked me out. He was good looking, smart, kind and funny and I haven’t dated in a long time, so we started going out and that is when the sparks began to fly, wow, who knew. Two years later we were married. We no longer work for the company, he retired and I started an online vintage business. At first I thought I would use his help (and he offered) with computer stuff, photographing, and as a personal assistant, didn’t take me long to figure out what he was good at and what he actually wanted to contribute. Although he would be great at all of it, he did not demonstrate a burning desire to do all the work that was required to run a successful online business. So, he assists in driving me to estate sales, carrying my purchases, letting me use his work out room for a photography studio (we live across the street from each other, that is another story) and does most of the cooking, a plus from a business and personal stand point. He is working on his physical fitness trainer certificate, I sell my vintage and how we work together is to support each others endeavors.

  89. Not sure I’d wanna work with my spouse full-time. We do everything else together, including our music. I’m so grateful though that my hubby helps me with work around house and yard. That frees me up to work on my business. It’s all good.

  90. elinor

    Great subject!
    I did hire family and ‘friends of’ when I had my own business and it was definitely not the best decision. I really like what you say about hiring the most suitable/qualified person for the job and not be a charity. I was quite young then and never gave it further thought but very good point to keep in mind for the future. Lovin the pants! 😉

  91. Julie

    My husband and I have owned a business together for the last 10 years, we have moved locations a few times, and we’ve always done everything together. That does not mean we don’t have different opinions sometimes but we know we are in this together, just like parenting and marriage. People always say to us how they could never do that. Honestly, I think people are focusing on the negatives instead of the positives and getting too nitpicky about details. Have respect for each other, treat each other like the equals you are regardless of what your role in the business is, work together and let the rest go, its not that difficult.

  92. I thought about this for about 5 minutes after I read your topic for the week ….. I could NEVER WORK with my husband!!! He is my best friend and I do talk to him about new ideas, problems, etc., but I think our relationship is so good because we both have our own “stuff” outside of the marriage. It would be hard for me to separate the personal from the professional.

  93. My husband and I were both worked freelance up until three years ago when we noticed that our gifts and talents really complemented each other. So we formed our company and it has been going incredibly well. Mainly because he knows what he’s doing and I know what I’m doing. He’s much more technically minded and I’m the more creative & marketing driven one of our team. He has always said that what he does really enhances what I do and he is more of the “support system” for what we do, which is incredibly helpful and such a blessing.

    I think Marie made a great point in making sure that you treat your husband as you would any other employee, which can be hard sometimes 😉 But the hardest thing for us is “switching off work” and being a married couple, which has been a challenge sometimes. We always end up talking about work and, well, we’ve really had to work on it. But we both really enjoy what we do, we learn so much from each other and try to keep work and life separate. It’s hard, but we are making it work!

  94. Hubby and I tried to work together…it was a DISASTER! We are both strong personalities and were successful as individuals…so, we both have our own ways of doing things (and we are diametrically opposed) as to how to do them. We are now successfully NOT IN BUSINESS TOGETHER!

  95. Gloria Hamilten

    My daughter and I are in business together and we each have had to get to now each other in this different capacity. If there is one value that is essential, it is to feel and show RESPECT for each other. Respecting someone means to speak to them courteously, to value their strengths and what they bring to the table. Everyone has a unique way of thinking and doing things, our way is not always the only way or the right way, irrespective of what has succeeded in the past. UNCONDITIONAL love also comes into the equation when working with loved ones, married, family or friends. One of the dangers of working with close ones is that, because we are more “familiar” with them, we can also take liberties with them which we wouldn’t be so inclined to do with someone else. Every relationship needs to be worked at, being in business wsith close ones is no different. I believe taking a less diva and approach could help. I feel for the guy if he is made to feel like he should be grateful for working for his wife. Ouch!

  96. My husband has always managed to get himself involved in partnerships with friends that have no skill or understanding of the project. Why? because he doesn’t like to do anything alone.
    What he has learned after years of multiple challenges and mistakes, is to harness an individuals strengths and place them in an area of the company where they can shine!
    Hope this advice can be transferred to couples!
    Lana

  97. My husband and I have been working together for 7 1/2 years and let me tell you it’s no joke. He is a general contractor, and a great one might I add, and I am the office manager. The one good thing is that he lets me do my thing and he does thing on the jobsite, it’s when we have to work together is when it gets tricky. It is very hard to not let what you know about him (unorganized, procrastanator (sp?), and inexperienced computer user) not get in the way of how he will handle certain issues. In short, he is great at what he does and I am great at what I do, we just don’t always agree or meet in the middle.

    My best advice is to not take anything personally, business is business and one will have to compromise. Because in the end we still love each other and our business has survived through the economic ups and downs. Now I have started my own business and he is fully supportive and I can apply all that I have learned to my new company.

  98. Linzi Wilson

    yikes….. I’m going to be the one who shouts from the rooftop ‘DON’T DO IT !!!” ha ha ha, only because I did and it failed miserably !!! I am sure there are folk out there who can make this work but for me, working together pushed us incredibly close to divorce. You are totally right about asking yourself if you would hire your spouse if he were up against a bunch of super talented, qualified folk going for the same job.

    The biggest lesson for me was that, even though I love my husband to pieces, we are not meant to work together. We do everything so differently that even day to day work issues turned into huge dramas.

    I also learnt that I want to feel independent, free and empowered in my career, and I couldn’t find that in our working situation. It left me feeling claustrophobic, overwhelmed and trapped. Not good !!

    We were partners, and to be honest, I think the best advice I can give is that if you TRULY think you are cut out to work together, then one of you needs to be the boss. Bottom line, you need to agree who will make the final call on important business decisions.

    • Hi Linzi

      I totally agree with your advice. My husband & I would always argue about which way to do things. But in the end, he started the business and pulled me in, so I made the decision to stop being so competitive and let him be boss. To tell the truth, I mostly backed down because I had a new baby late last year (giving us 3 kids 4yo and under). But our relationship got so much better when I became the support for him as the business leader rather than fighting for the steering wheel, so to speak 🙂 And I’ve learned to get my way on things through gentle persuasion, rather than by force.

  99. As a business owner who works with my hubby, I totally understand and agree with your advice. It can work if you are both 100% passionate about the BUSINESS. It works for us because we both love what we do. We worked out what we both offer best to the business and empower each other to be the best we can be. During 9-5 we are business partners not lovers 🙂

  100. Diane

    Marie, you are hilarious! Your advice is always solid and valuable and it’s just fun to watch you having so much fun in your videos. Thank you!

  101. I definitely have some experience with hiring those close to me – I have in the past hired my brother, my mother, several friends, and two cousins as contractors. I currently have another friend hired as an assistant. Besides that, my sister is my partner and my boyfriend is my technical writer!

    In a lot of ways, this has worked out for me. For one thing, my family members have been patient enough to wait for me to get money together to pay them (I still owe a couple of them money!). For another, they were willing to help me even though I was unable to pay them very well. There have been some setbacks, though; because they’re nice about the money I haven’t been trying hard enough to pay them back, and when their work hasn’t been up to par it’s very difficult for me to say something and get them back on track.

    With my boyfriend and sister, though, I truly have the best people for the job. My boyfriend is very talented and produces professional work that we’ve been complimented for time and time again, and as one of the top duct tape artists in the country my sister is irreplaceable. Not to mention that they are my two best friends in the world.

    Overall, I’ve had a pretty good experience hiring those who are close to me.

  102. Barbara

    This reminds me of choosing someone to share your home with. It’s a difficult choice to have the same rules for friends as it is for paying lodgers, but there are ground rules that both have to adhere to. As long as there is mutual respect from each, and no ‘taking offence’, then the friendship will remain strong. No blame and no shame.

  103. Magdolna

    We actually started our business together with my boyfriend – boy, it was a challenge back then! Marie, you’re right, we have to grow up & act like businesspeople when talking shop with each other. Thing is that we truly complement each other and our business wouldn’t be as it is now if it wasn’t for BOTH of our creativity and drive to make it succeed.

  104. I hired my husband to help with my webdesign business for a month or two. The sounds of frustration from his office to mine soon put an end to that though. He’s a sound engineer an can spend hours and hours.. and hours editing and mixing a track.

    But give him a website that he has to fiddle with to get just right and hooley DOOLEY does he lose patience quickly. He is still my sounding board for some business decisions and my advisor and confidante (especially for tricky situations / clients). But as far as actual work goes I have looked elsewhere and have a great graphic designer now that does some of the overflow.

    Having someone with the time available and wanting to keep the income “in the family” is not worth the stress if it isn’t a good fit. My husband and I laugh about it – I didn’t “fire him” I just stopped giving him work 🙂

  105. Hi Marie & All Ya Ladies,

    A while back I married my boss. (We’re divorced now but remain great friends.) Anyway…

    I agree with Marie. It worked very very well because I was already hired for the because I was the best person for it, not because he was interested in me romantically (he wasn’t, we had just only met and he was seeing someone else at the time).

    I worked for him, doing my best, for 2 years before we married. The working relationship was wonderful because we were both in it for the right reasons.

    You nailed this one, Marie. Oh, and love the pleather pants, too, Girl…

    !!!

  106. BUYER BEWARE! Yes I have mixed business with my marriage. My husband & I built a company together for 15yrs & were equal shareholders. We were incredibly successful & it worked very well for a long time. We complimented one another perfectly & understood exactly what we had to achieve as a team. We had the common objective & were utterly driven to achieve it. During those 15yrs we went through good times & made huge profits & we went through harsh times & nearly lost the company e.g. when the dot com bubble burst. However, we turned it around & fought together to make it work. By this time we had 3 children & there was a debenture against the house. Sadly, when he called time on our relationship 4yrs ago, he decided shortly after to oust me out of the business, as an employee. In the end we negotiated & a compromise agreement was drawn up, as I left. Whilst I remained a 50% shareholder, he’s run the company into the ground since then & it has just entered a CVA (like Chapter 11). Sadly he failed to honour the compromise agreement & has made it his personal mission to ensure that I don’t work in our industry. He’s not been successful as I still do! He has now set up another company & has approached me (& himself) re buying our company’s shares (for next to nothing). Whilst there are legal agreements in place, it’s been a nightmare in terms of recovering the money owed. And, he’s pushed all the legal fees through our company, whereas I’ve had to pay the legal fees personally. So, I really would think long & hard about going into business with your husband/wife! Whist it can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be a nightmare!

  107. Mary Ellen

    Loved the video and great advice!

    I must know – what is the name of that song and who sings it?

  108. I do some work together with my very skilled boyfriend but we also pursue projects separately which I feel is a very good thing! We work in the same industry and teach super fun raw chocolate making classes and have even written a book together, but then I have my private nutrition practice which he has nothing to do with and I host raw food/superfood/juicing/Pilates/yoga retreats that he most definitely supports me with, but is more passionate about birthing his own big idea. That doesn’t mean you won’t see him at a retreat though 😉

    Because we’ve done it this way (not even intentionally, it’s just how things have unfolded over the past few years together), we don’t have the drama of work/relationship, thank goodness.

    He’s got his “baby” (http://LongevityPower.com) and I’ve got mine (my retreats & online biz). It’s essentially a very similar message that we have but we’re bringing it in different ways. LOVE the way this works…. for us, it’s ideal b/c we support each other, get a little entangled (which is fun!), but keep what’s our own, mostly our own.

  109. I believe it rather funny that you would post a video about marriage and business. My hubby and I (12 years) have just recently (May) started a business together, he is strictly design and I am strictly learning. Although I help him with layout design and color schemes, I leave the ultimate decision up to him since that is what his expertise is (even though I could do it as well, but I don’t want to). Just as he leaves anything to do with learning and development to me (he too can train, but he doesn’t like it). But, it works for us because we know what our strengths are and we make it clear who is responsible for what. It also helps to have boundaries, and to have a strong relationship in the first place, along with both of us agreeing where we want to go with our company.

    • I meant to also mention that I have seen how marriage and business should not be mixed. My parents owned their own company when I was younger and although it was successful for a while, it made it difficult at times because one did not always take into consideration the strength of the other. They learned their lesson, and are still together, with a knew company that merges their strengths.

  110. Great Video as usual! My man and I met running a restaurant 6 years ago, and both ended up quitting the job to pursue the relationship…we chose LOVE! Fast forward 5 years and we decided to open a restaurant of our own. It seemed like the perfectly natural solution since we both wanted to be self employed, and we did it in the past.
    It is much different, but our relationship is growing and evolving everyday NOW and we have learned oh so many lessons! For most of the first year we were stuck in a pretty big power struggle. Constant fighting. We both wanted to be right and do everything our own way. We nearly lost the relationship many times. A few things I have learned along the way, hopefully will be helpful to anyone who wants to spend 95% of their time with their significant other.
    1.) Clearly divide all duties based on your strengths. Delegate to each other, and allow the other person to make decisions and get their job done.
    2.) Meet regularly to discuss progress you’ve made and run things by each other. This also allows you to hold each other accountable to goals, deadlines, etc.
    3.) Don’t fight or bicker in front of employees, vendors, customers, etc. When stuff comes up (and it will), take it behind closed doors.
    4.) Respect your partners input and opinion. LISTEN.
    5.) Leave work at work. Even if you work at home. Create a clear boundary between work and home life. We have rules about no shop talk at the dinner table, and use codes words to change the subject when one of us slips.
    5.) Have fun. Take a day off. Get out of town for the weekend. Try to regularly do stuff to ether that you enjoy. This is the most impotent part for us. Otherwise our entire lives start to feel like work, from the business to the chores, and we start resenting each other for it. If you have fun together, you will be reminded of why you LOVE each other in the first place.

    Working with your spouse is certainly not for everyone, and not appropriate for all situations…but following these guidelines has saved my relationship..and I actually enjoy working with him (most days!).

  111. I learned this one as a teen when my brother-in-law bought his own print shop to fulfill a lifelong dream. My sister opted to work for him full time saying she had always wanted to own a print shop. While he was grateful for the help and she liked the job okay, the shop was his passion and the husband was her passion. It was a good lesson on many levels.

  112. Hi ladies,

    I’m loving all the great points in this thread. Although I personally can’t speak from experience here, I know a lady in my field that has very successfully capitalized on romance and business to create a small empire for her and her spouse. Her story is very interesting and I really think it might speak to some of you. Her name is Jasmine Star. This is a link to an interview where she shares how she got started:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZqP_rLuNkI&feature=player_detailpage#t=269s

    This is her blog:

    http://www.jasminestarblog.com/

  113. Elloa

    Awesome vid as usual Marie – and hot pants! (I love it cos in the UK, pants mean underwear, so every time you say ‘I love my pants’ it makes me chuckle. Love your cheeky humour!)

    I work with Nige on his business – http://www.nige-atkinson.co.uk mostly copy editing, idea sharing and being a bossy boots. Oh! That is where things get tricky. I think we’re learning to navigate it – and each other – fairly well, but could I work with him on a full-time basis and maintain our relationship? That would be a mega challenge. All in all, I’m happy with the balance we’re striking at the moment with each other.

    We’ve only been married for two months and for me, the relationship has to come first. His business is new, I’m setting up a new business too and I’m also doing B-School, which is amazing. So… food for thought and a great reminder to find the RIGHT person for the job, not the most convenient or quickest solution.

    Elloa x

  114. Thanks Marie. Your insights are gold, and your community comments are diamonds. I enjoy reading them.

  115. amy

    I am the ideator and the creative, and he shows up and does his thing as a holistic foot and ankle doc. To sell what we do in a unique fashion and spark interest and rationalize why we are a cash practice vs. insurance
    i keep trying new things but business has been sooooo slow. In order to save $$$$ i work there and manage and recreate his brand and add my brand to the mix. I have been a yoga therapist, wellness expert and life stylist and now I call myself an Authenticity Strategist,,,where when you are You, as in Be You. Love Life. Change the World…A Soulful Truth Revolution ..we see how that matters to our immune system making a case for inflammation and the epigenome. It seems when we are connected at work and passionate and interface, it dilutes anything we may have together intimately. Met you at Danille’s Fire Party in NYC, Alana’s mom.

  116. Girl – you are a hoot! I love your videos & great advice. Quality & Heart – that’s you!

  117. Hi Marie. Such great insights! My husband, Paul, and I have had separate careers and like many others, things took a down turn in 2008. Suddenly, what had been an easy mortgage, financial savings, travel, and business flow all changed. We lost everything (we really did!!!) and then realized we hadn’t been fighting, blaming or in deep depression. In fact, we were happy, having fun and still loving each other still! Very strange, weird and wonderful. We decided to figure out what we were doing and took a leap to do our “real work” whatever that ended up being. The first step was to figure out what we were doing so we could share it with others – because it seemed to work. We wrote a book about to be published, “5 Steps to Thrive” and never once fought. Collaboration, communication and prioritizing that each of us continue to grow as individuals seem to be a few of the key ingredients that work for us. Not only have we written our first book but have decided to continue leaping into the unknown by partnering on some new business ventures together. It’s all so unknown but somehow it feels right to be doing this together right now.

  118. I like the idea of hiring the best person for the job not because they are related or married to you. I have seen this in the past and it can be a disaster. I see family members take advantage of the situation. It takes a special kind of person to work with their spouse.That would not be me!!

  119. My sister and her husband are business partners. They do seem to fight about work, but then they also have such a deep bond through their work… There are positives and negatives both, for sure.

    As for my personal preference, I LOVE the fact that my husband and I have entirely different skill-sets and separate work lives. We’re always in awe of each other’s projects.

  120. Great advice! I started my own “green living & health” magazine in Middle Tennessee last year called B.Real Magazine, and I hired some local entrepreneurs to distribute it for me. When I first met my husband he worked for a recycling company and made 100 or more stops a day. So he and I both felt that experience makes him a natural fit for my magazine distribution. I actually think it’s been working out much better having him as my distributor. He seems to care more. He even gives me some pointers or lets me know if he thinks a location isn’t the right fit. Previously, the people I hired would do the job and give me little feedback, except for telling me how many magazines were left and to let me know the job was done. Having a full-time job with my dream publication on-top certainly makes it difficult for me to be mobile enough to take a good hard look at every place my publication is circulating. So in this case, I would say yes, my husband is probably the BEST candidate for the job.

  121. Hmmm – this is a brilliant thread and so timely! My husband is super-supportive and interested and great with the numbers. When he explains them to me we often end up bickering as he’s quick and it’s obvious to him – and not to me. Always had the vision of him running the ‘back end’ of things AND this thread has made me hit ‘pause’ on that for a while. Hmmmm. Thank you! ` Kx

  122. Marie… fantastic topic!! And thanks Kia for asking that Q!
    I have been working with my husband for the last 4 months now and I can tell you it is no vacation. Do not get me wrong, I LOVE him and he is the most amazing man ever (do not think we have been together for a short time…15 years and still on fire!) and a very talented one as well. But mixing family and business can be tricky even when your husband is the most qualified for the job because you risk to constantly talk about work forgetting a little bit of that naughtiness that Marie was talking about and also a little bit of romance. You need to be extremely disciplined and patient and do not to take him for granted. Try also to have a set working time so that you both now when to deal with work and when to behave only as a couple. Definitively a good one!!! Thanks Marie!

  123. I had just started my business when I met my husband, we were both travelling in Egypt when we met, he is from America and I am from the UK. When I fell pregnant, we decided to move to Europe so I carried on with the business and he helped with the childcare, then about 2 years in (and also another child in) I started hiring him part time to work with me (I already had a team of people, so we weren’t a 2 man band or anything). I think what worked is that we both knew what our roles and responsibilities were from the start.

    We’re now 6 years in and things are still going well, he’s now a full time member of my team and runs a whole department in my business. We’re together pretty much 24/7 and have been for all these years. He isn’t an ego-maniac which helps, he accepts I’m the brains behind the operation and is grateful, and I accept that I wouldn’t be where I am today without his love, support and encouragement – we live a good life, travelling and living in 6 countries over the last 7 years (my business is all online so location is not an issue for us) and we share responsibilities, the difference being my responsibilities are more traditionally the mans, e.g. running the business, managing finance, being responsible for income, and his responsibilities are more traditionally the females e.g. washing up, doing laundry, changing beds.

    Providing you are both fine with role reversal, and you have a mutual respect that the other person is sharing responsibility, no matter what that may be, then I’ve found it to be a favourable and interesting way of life. We’ve never once had an argument whether business related or domestic – freaky I know… Maybe it’s because of our lifestyle and the excitement surrounding it that makes us too pre-occupied to do anything else other than just get on with it 🙂

    Great topic Marie.

  124. Dan

    All I would say is to be very conscious of why you are going into business with a spouse.

    In our case, we dove into a business partnership because our individual insecurities and negative self-talk had been telling us most of our lives that we couldn’t make it on our own & that we needed another person involved to make up for what we ourselves lacked.

    If you recognize in yourself any tendencies toward codependence, be very careful about entering into any partnerships, let alone business ones.

    Two unbelievably painful & unproductive years later, our relationship was nearly nonexistent, the business was barely on its feet, only after deciding to separate completely for a while (including in business) did we even have a chance to pick up the pieces.

    This is of course an extreme example of when things go wrong, but believe me, more people have these tendencies towards mutual dependence than care to admit.

    Remember ladies, a person’s goals often change as they grow wiser; people’s self-perception changes as they learn more about themselves.

    If you strive to make decisions from a place of empowerment & not from a place of dependence, you will almost certainly make the right choice, though.

    Very interesting & engaging topic of discussion!

    -Dan

  125. Love this, thanks Marie! 😀 But I think that there could’ve been an additional tweetable about the nookie breaks 😉

  126. Just now I’m considering separating from my fiancé amicably due to not being able to work with him and live with him. It sounds harsh but I’m doing the bulk of the work when it comes to our business, which is expanding very quickly and I cannot get a break because he isn’t pulling his weight. Due to this I’ve turned into a nag with everything from work to our personal life, and I resent everything he doesn’t do. I genuinely think I’ve ruined our relationship due to becoming this ogre but unless he is out from under my feet I’ll still be enabling him. It’s awful but in reality we can’t walk away from both.

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