Successful copreneurs know the secrets to couple business with pleasure. Working and living together poses unique challenges for copreneur couples. The partners who are successful have learned, sometimes the hard way, that it’s a delicate balancing act, and the talents of a juggler can sure come in handy. Let’s see; there’s home, children and family obligations, being a romantic partner, and then being a business partner subject to the constant demands of the company requirements. While it’s not always easy, and often challenging and thwarting; when these couples get it right, it works and it’s truly a thing of beauty. There’s no better feeling than to be able to stand together with your partner and say that you’ve created, nurtured and grown your business and your family; that you’re still standing strong and feeling successful and in love with each other and with life.
There really is no secret to being successful copreneurs. Enough power couples have written about what it takes to make it work that we know how it should go (not that it always does). I’d like to share some of the basics with you.
- Have a shared vision and be in agreement on your business plans and goals: Copreneurs have a shared vision that began with an idea that sparked and inspired them. They are extremely motivated to work together to see their dreams become real. They are in total agreement on the shared vision for their life together and to their company goals. They are able to work side by side to meet those goals they’ve set out together.
- Everything cannot be a priority: In business and in life, we have to set our priorities. When you and your partner are a working couple, you have to set your priorities together. Successful copreneurs know how to prioritize business and personal goals so that they can happily support each other in meeting those goals. When priorities change for one partner, for example, one partner wants to concentrate on a different aspect of the business or wants to start a family; the other partner respects the need to look at those changing priorities and reevaluate what’s the most important to them as a couple.
- You alone cannot do it all: When couples are in business together it can be all -consuming. The tendency is there to work on the business 24/7 and to control all aspects of running the venture. Successful copreneur couples know that delegating to capable staff is the key to freeing up personal time to spend with their favorite business partner and that they don’t need to micro-manage the entire business.
- True partners are equals at work and at home: Copreneurs stress the importance of respecting their partners as equals in every way. This doesn’t change when they arrive home. True partnerships operate on respect and compassion with communication and care as the foundation for their interactions in and out of the workplace. That’s not to say they don’t get triggered as any other couple does. Working together gives them a different perspective on their partner, and that respect carries over into their personal life. If someone is supremely capable in business, there’s no perception that they are any less capable of operating in the domestic arena of life. It can definitely deepen the love you hold for your partner to see them in this respectful and admiring way.
- Roles and responsibilities must be clearly defined: Copreneurs that have the best personal and professional relationships understand that the roles they have at work must be clearly defined. There should be no question as to which partner makes specific decisions and the other partner trusts that they’re able to manage that aspect of the business without interference. They should never be called upon to make judgement calls that involve each other in front of employees, but save those discussions for the boardroom or private conversations.
- Play to each other’s strengths: Copreneurs help each other succeed by playing to each other’s strengths. Each partner does what they are best at in the running of the company and when they come together, they celebrate each other’s achievements as a success for the entire company. No partner should ever be roped into doing something they don’t like or are not good at simply because it needs doing. Smart managers delegate and they can always hire someone that does those tasks as their specialty leaving the other partner free to pursue their area of talent or interest.
- Never make it personal at work or businesslike at home: Successful copreneurs know where to draw the lines between work and home. When the office hours are over, it’s time to just be a couple. No shop talk is allowed at home and especially not in the bedroom EVER. When you’re having a tough day at work or things aren’t going well, there’s a tendency to blame or nag your partner. Don’t do that. Work through your business challenges as a united partnership and never make it personal. This is one of the most important issues that has come up time and again with discussions about copreneurs. Blurring those lines is going to impact both your business and personal relationships in a negative way. Many businesses have folded due to personal strife between copreneur partners. If you want to be successful both in business and in your love relationship, keep the separation clear.
- Compromise is healthy at home but not at work: When you’re a couple with a challenge or issue, it’s a great thing to communicate and compromise to resolve things. This can be the kiss of death to your company. You should always compromise with your romantic partner, but never compromise at work. Keep the roles you have clear and each be responsible for the decisions you make at work. Even if they are unpopular with your partner, your staff and employees will appreciate your decisive actions.
- Make home your safe haven: Make your home happy by making it a safe haven from the stress and tension that work brings. When you walk through your door to your chair with your spouse or partner, let go of everything and just let yourselves be together and be in love. Take time to be romantic, grateful and happy together. You’ve been given an opportunity that not everyone gets to have. Appreciate that you have a partner that is willing to work beside you to support and help you to realize your dreams. That’s a very valuable thing, and should never be taken for granted. Make the most of the time you share together just being in love and being a couple.
- Celebrate your successes: Every success you have as a copreneur couple, every goal you meet, every financial success should be celebrated. When you’re doing well, celebrate! When you finish a big project, celebrate. If you’re successful and you see your dreams coming true, take your partner aside and celebrate together. Go on that longed for vacation and treat yourselves to something wonderful together. You’ve worked very hard to get here and you deserve it. Congratulate each other for all the time, effort, blood sweat and tears you’ve both put into making your dreams come true.
One of the worst mistakes couples make is not taking the time out for each other and to celebrate their success. If they started with the seed of an idea when they were young and worked their entire lives to make that a successful business that can support them and their children; that they can leave to their grandchildren they need to enjoy the fruits of their labor before they’re too old. If you can’t celebrate your success with your partner, what have you been working so hard all these years for?
If you stick to these suggestions, make time to be together as a couple and celebrate each other and your business success, you too can be a copreneur couple with a legacy to be proud of.