What is your wife to you?
To me, my wife is my biggest cheerleader. She supports me through everything, be it my business or my personal life. She is an amazing and supportive person. But, it wasn’t like this in the beginning.
When my wife and I started our photography business at the age of 19, we immediately became business partners. It was hard and frustrating in the beginning. I didn’t understand the importance of leveraging my time, so I would ask my wife, who was good with numbers, to do the accounting. I had her help me with sales but also do editing and handle my meetings. I began treating her more like an employee than my spouse, or even my business partner. We lacked communication. Once I realized what I was doing, I sat down and had a conversation with her. Our solution was to hire an assistant. It ended up helping the both of us, both in our relationship and our business.
The definition of a partner is a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, especially in a business or company with shared risks and profits. A partner in business is very similar to a partner in life: you solve problems together, you brainstorm together, you struggle together always as equals in the shared risk of the situation.
I have noticed that there are a lot of relationships in which men end up treating their wives as an employee more than a loving supporter, or where they don’t support their wives as a business partner at all. Their wives are their secretary, accountant, assistant, social media manager, maid, etc.
Making the decision to go into business with your spouse is generally made to save money or is based on the belief that having a wife to motivate them in business can strengthen the relationship. You married your spouse for a reason because you love them, I hope. You are together to build each other up, not tear each other down.
Being business partners can be difficult. There will be times when you will disagree with each other, but always remember, the arguments can be fixed. Communication is important in every relationship whether it’s friendship, family, a professional partnership, or your dating life.
How Do You Keep Your Spouse from Becoming Your Secretary?
Sit down with her. Maybe go get dinner. Don’t talk about business plans, but just ask her, “How is everything going?” When my wife asks me, “How are you?” she’s never asking just to ask, she’s asking because she wants to talk on a personal level. Thanks to her questions, I’ve come to understand that a simple question often hides a deeper meaning. Giving her attention and thanking her for everything she has done is important. There is nothing wrong with catching up with her after your business day is over. Our partners are not robots, they’re humans who have feelings.
Set the same goals for each other. You might sometimes have different opinions but you can both set yourselves the same goals and achieve them. For example, my wife and I would set bi-weekly goals to build each other up.
Establish a schedule with her. There is a time and place for everything, but setting clear time slots for it all will guide you in maintaining healthy communication and boundaries. Set aside a time for dating and a time to talk and do business together. When you’re talking to your partner, ask yourself, are you talking to her as a wife or are you talking to her as a business partner? The separation will help you ensure a healthier relationship by giving each other the attention that you both need, be it in business or for your couple.
Don’t Forget That You Are Equals, but Embrace Your Differences
My wife and I are both influencers. I respect her as a person, as my wife, and as a business partner. With her by my side, I believe that we can influence more people and accomplish much more together. Like they say, ‘Two brains are better than one.’ Continuously arguing with your spouse won’t get you anywhere. It’s better to connect yourselves than to break yourselves.
My wife and I are not identical at all. I am a stern, hard-headed, and direct person. My wife, on the other hand, is a caring, empathetic, and nurturing woman. Doing business can be difficult at times when we disagree with each other, but we end up learning from one another. I learn how to be considerate when making deals and she learns how to be stern when a problem arises. You both don’t have to bond with each other all the time, but at least learn from your problems and use it to have a stronger experience.
Ask yourself, “What is my wife to me?”
“How can we better our relationship?”
If you’re experiencing issues in your relationship with your wife, just relax, breathe, and find healthy ways to resolve the issue. If your relationship is suffering because you’re also business partners, take a break from work and hire an assistant to get things done while you fix your problems.
Understand that your wife is her own person, just like you are you. She has the power to do what she can do and she should not be your employee, secretary, or someone that you take your stress out on. She should be your supporter, partner, and motivator. She’s a partner who will be there for you through thick and thin.
How will you start improving your relationship with your business partner/wife? If it’s already strong, do you treat her more as a secretary or as a wife?