Tara here. We’ve been working with a lot of creative couples lately – as in married people or couples in serious relationships, who’ve turned their common vision into a business.
Yes, they’ve done this to themselves on purpose.
Does that sound cynical? Well, if you already work with your plus-one, you would most likely say that it’s very rewarding, but it’s also no picnic. But, if you don’t work with your mate, you might fall into two camps:
1.) Whew! Glad That’s Not Me!
I have this bad habit that’s probably speaks to a cynical underlying flaw of mine. When I first meet couples who work together I think “oh man, hee, hee, hee, I’m glad that’s not me!” Partnering with my sister is about as close as I can come to co-leading a career endeavor with someone I’m related to be it by law or DNA.
Or you might fall into this second state-of-mind about the whole idea:
2.) Aww! I Wish That Was Me!
I don’t have a real insight into this person. Other than, well – you want to work for yourself, you want to build it with a person that’s in this life thing with you anyway, so wouldn’t that be cool to have each others’ backs and make this thing happen together? Okay, so maybe I’m not such a cynic. I can relate.
Plus, I’ve gotta give kudos to the couples we’ve worked with who have already waded in, and are making it work. We’ve recently shared stories of creative entrepreneurs Matt, Sara & baby Stella running a local family market in downtown Oklahoma City, and Laura & Ben providing video and consulting for art organizations in Twin Cities.
However, if you’re in the very first steps of figuring out your strengths, weaknesses, and working style – it can feel pretty unclear how this new kind of partnership is going to pan out. Usually the big picture dreams win out over the uncertainty. And that’s how it should work. Those kinds of long “what if” and “wouldn’t-it-be-amazing,” conversations are the ones you get excited about, or you wouldn’t be trying this in the first place.
But put the dream aside for one second. Here’s the number one question Kathleen and I always end up asking our creative couple clients:
Forget the Dream for a Minute. Think About Your Day.
1. Where are you sitting? Literally? Do you have your own space?
2. What are your roles when it comes to the daily stuff?
3. How do you each serve your clients/customers?
4. How do you each contribute to growing the business?
5. Who is the hot spark & who is the slow burn? What’s that?
If you haven’t quite solidified every single aspect of your respective roles in the partnership, or, for that matter, the personal brand you both bring to the equation, that’s okay. I can’t imagine any duo having it all set in stone. But if you can get all your intentions now on the same page then it’s going to be easier to let the rest unfold a little more willy-nilly. You may get some paper cuts, and some hurt feelings, and maybe even some big blowouts along the way, but if you can keep going back to the division of roles, and the shared business dream – you can keep the vision from getting scrapped in the process.
Do you work with your spouse, a sister or another other? Do you wish you did? Do you thank goodness you don’t?! Tell us on Facebook.