Mixing business and relationships can be a recipe for disaster. People believe entrepreneurs starting a business with their partners are on unstable ground and are lousy decision-makers.
It is true that being an entrepreneur while in a romantic relationship takes a lot of work. However if you do it right, you can get the best of both worlds.
This guide can help you make the transition beautifully.
1. The relationship comes first
No matter how demanding the business can get, your relationship should always be the priority.
Every entrepreneur knows the lure of heading straight on towards a dream. At the same time, it’s essential you never forget you’re reaching for those dreams with someone else.
2. Find someone who understands both love and business
Combining business and love is best done with someone who shares the same interests and passions as you. Whatever field you’re in, everything will be analysed, planned and decided more effectively if your minds are similarly programmed.
Understand that you and your partner, as entrepreneurs, will clash, almost daily. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship with no arguments; and now, you just added business matters to the list that could trigger a fight.
The key is to be kind, respectful and to fight well. Imagine the sense of accomplishment when the topic you were fighting about gets resolved beautifully alongside things working out for the business.
3. Designate roles and responsibilities
Strive to make the business system efficient. Start with pinpointing your strengths and weaknesses. More often than not, you are with your partner because you complement each other.
This is the moment for both of your strengths to shine in order to make the business succeed. You’ve got a teammate and a partner you love bundled up into one, isn’t that great?
4. Be transparent
It’s the goal of every organisation to be as transparent as possible. This builds trust between the company and its employees as well as the organisation and the community.
A relationship that includes business and love will need to function in the same way. Trust is key in making the foundation of a romantic relationship strong and secure. As entrepreneurs, you will need to extend that trust to business issues as well.
The secret ingredient to make it work is communication. Because now, your relationship as well as business rests on your collective shoulders. Whether you are completely annoyed at your partner or unsure of the next venture, issues must be communicated.
In a love-with-business relationship, you get to cheer each other on and be vulnerable with each other. This is because you know full well that you’ve got each other’s backs.
5. Create goals and dreams
It’s time to talk about short-term and long-term goals. As entrepreneurs, your two-year, five-year, and 10-year plans need to be plotted out with clear action steps. As romantic partners, the same guidelines apply.
Having your goals written down is a great way to make dreams into reality. This way, you’re holding yourselves accountable to achieving them.
The next step is to believe that together, you can achieve those dreams and goals.
6. Stick to a schedule
The great thing about being an entrepreneur is owning your time and being your own boss, but it is not always that easy.
The first few years will demand a lot of your time and effort. Then there is your partner who you love and cannot disregard.
One way in overcoming the hurdle of a hectic schedule is to find a routine that works for you both. Set one day every two weeks for shopping, schedule a cleaning day, date nights, etc.
Find a way to create a routine, establish it, and make it work. This will help lighten the load and lower the chances of things piling up.
7. Find the fine line between entrepreneurship and relationship
First and foremost is the phrase, “It’s not personal, it’s business.” This is kind of ironic, right, because your romantic partner is also your business partner. But it still holds true for this kind of relationship.
When you and your partner are going through a rough patch personally, you can’t let it affect the business. The same is true the other way around.
Keeping the two from getting convoluted, especially when it comes to issues and problems, will help maintain clear decision-making.
8. Understand that money does matter
Do you create another joint account for the business? Is it wise to avail of a company credit card? Who will handle the finances? How much do you save versus invest per month?
These are some of the questions involving money that must be talked about and put in writing. Money matters are usually tricky things to tackle but they are critical to the success of your relationship and business.
A money matter that requires special mention is the emergency fund. No matter how young and healthy you are or how stable things are financially, the emergency fund remains a priority.
This article first appeared in The New Savvy.
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