When two people choose to live, love, and work together, they’re pooling their resources to build their own business. That takes both vision and courage. Each time I meet a new copreneurial couple, I am excited for them because they are embarking on one of life’s great journeys. The learning they will do and the challenges they will meet are sure to stretch and grow them both. How their journey goes depends on their working partnership. And much like a good marriage counselor helps a marriage, I can help a copreneurship.
Back in 2000, my husband and I were one of those couples embarking on our own start-up journey. Looking back, we were young, naive and brimming with optimism. We soon realized that our new venture in working together was a big deal. Unlike the jobs we had left behind, we were now going home with the boss, working together 24/7. Our finances, our relationship, our family, our future were all at stake. In fact, working together was at the core of everything we did all those years. And when we worked well together, we not only did our best work, we were also most fulfilled. Working together leads to one outcome while working together well leads to an exponentially better one.
I had to learn the hard way how to make a copreneurial partnership work at work and at home. I can help you not only avoid the pitfalls, but build the foundation to build a great business while living a great life. Here are a few key strategies I can help you with:
We just didn’t know what we didn’t know. Like most entrepreneurs, we were so busy working in the business that it never occurred to us to work on the business. Each day our focus was on the tasks to be completed. There was not much focus on our own need to flourish and be whole. We accomplished a lot and built the business rapidly, but too often at the expense of our own well being. We measured and celebrated successes in terms of financial gains. But those peaks weren’t necessarily in sync with our best level of well being. We often sacrificed one for the other, not recognizing the true cost.
More important than the bottom-line should have been our own well-being, defined by Webster as “the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy”. A family business coach, had we had one, could have helped us see the bigger picture, create new perspectives, and identify our priorities. Each copreneur couple has its own unique set of values and what is important to each individual differs. However, more often than not, they aren’t aware of their own values, let alone those of their partners. That’s where I come in. As a coach, I can help you gain the insight to build a strong foundation on which to build your business.
To be clear, we are not talking about work-life balance. Rather, this is about creating a holistic working partnership. Working together well means tending to the needs of the business and each partner. For example, embracing and supporting one another’s values when making business decisions reflects a holistic approach. If well-being is given its due weight in decision making, the partnership is strengthened, trust builds, people flourish, and outcomes improve.
When a couple leads with a focus on well-being, the employees and customers will benefit as well. Building a copreneurship is an ideal opportunity to create a culture of your own choosing. A place where coming to work and partnering bring joy, and an environment where success is measured on more meaningful metrics.
Remember that as a couple in business together, working on working together well is just as critical as working on the product or service you provide. Build it into your routine and give it the time it needs along the way. Focus on the process, not just the outcome. When you do it won’t feel like work and while you’re growing your business you’ll be deepening your relationship.
I share the insight gained through my own experience, to help entrepreneuring partners and couples. My blog offers practical advice that will benefit your relationship, your partnership, your marriage, and your business.
Learn how my customized coaching program can help you and your partner work – and live – better together.