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Feb 14, 201912:31 PMOpen Mic

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In business and in health: Commandments for working alongside your significant other

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Eliminate all competition

Similar to a relationship or marriage, you should enter into any type of business venture with a loved one under the expectation that you will carry equal weight and put in equal time, energy, and effort, especially as things evolve.

Any deep-rooted power struggles or control issues must be addressed and eliminated prior to working alongside one another. Create a partnership where all wins and losses as individuals are shared as a team, and work to support one another when needed. Do not compete with one another. You each have your areas of expertise, so appreciate each other’s strengths and talents. Establishing this type of empowering dynamic all stems from effective communication, which is at the core of every good relationship and business partnership. Life is ever-changing, so also expect that time and effort are going to shift as kids and aging parents require attention.

Set boundaries and stick to them

When your partner in life becomes your partner in business, clear boundaries must be set between work time and personal/family time. It’s extremely important to not let personal problems translate into your shared business/work setting and vice versa. Drawing those boundaries tends to be one of the biggest struggles for couples in business. It’s up to the two of you to hold yourselves — and each other — accountable for sticking to those boundaries. Without drawing a line of differentiation, you’re creating a recipe for disaster and ultimately, disappointment.

It’s important to realize that not all couples were made to work together, and that’s completely okay. At the end of the day, it’s most important for couples to preserve and prioritize their commitment to each other above all because without a strong foundation, neither the relationship nor business pursuit will be able sustain and be successful.

Meg Schmitz is a senior franchise consultant at FranChoice.

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