Article by Patricia Bacon
Couplepreneurs are emerging as an economic segment that is somewhat unknown, undiscovered, undervalued and unrecognised. I hope to change that and normalise the idea of embarking on running a business with your life partner rather than have people look at me in disbelief when I tell them that couples are doing this. Couplepreneurs – a global community for couple owned businesses to meet, share and inspire their stories and come together to support and be supported through the trusted advisor network within the community – intends busting open the myths around couples living and working together. It’s definitely an emotive subject so what are the real benefits and challenges of working with your life partner?
You are ‘All In’ and stronger together – Couplepreneurs have a shared belief, total trust and honesty and are completely aligned in their goals. There is huge excitement and satisfaction in building a Life Brand together. Take a look at The Cheeky Panda’s success that Julie Chen and Chris Forbes started barely two years ago. They wouldn’t have chosen to do this with anyone else.
Spending time with each other and living your values – Couples tell me all the time how much more time they get to spend with one another rather than snatching time. It also enables them to build a Life Brand and create a culture that is true to their values. Many tell me just how blessed they feel in being able to have an opportunity to do this.
Flexibility, control and balance – So many couples tell me how they are experiencing a better balance and more flexibility than they had before working together.
Complementary skillset and really supportive – Couples bring a different and very complementary skillset and recognise the strength in working together on the business. With such alignment and support from and for one another it’s a wonderfully potent combination.
You can do it at any age – from Creative Nature Superfoods, Desmond & Dempsey, The Drum, Tots to Travel and Urban Village Chocolates we are seeing couples who are 20 to 70 something embracing the opportunity to work together. You are never too young or old.
But what about the challenges in working with your life partner?
All consuming and searching for the Life Balance – It can be immensely challenging to switch off and to stop talking about work. Yes couplepreneurs love their businesses but finding time for other things and to step away is often a work in progress for some of them. It is also really important to not let disagreements between you get out of control within the office.
Not being seen as a viable business investment and generally taken less seriously – In a recent survey we commissioned 37% of people questioned told us that they felt that they had been taken less seriously by investors, clients or employees because they are a Couplepreneur. I intend to normalise this and create fame for this market.
Lack of definition of roles – In some of the interviews couples have told me how at the outset they didn’t define their roles and as a result they found themselves getting involved in lots of the same things and decisions. In hindsight they knew sitting down to design their roles and responsibilities was invaluable to the business success as well as their own fulfilment. This is also so important as new recruits join the business and fully understand who does what.
Getting away on holidays – being able to take holidays where you leave the office completely can be difficult to do together with taking anything more than a few days or a week, particularly in the early stages of building the business. Surrounding yourself with people who are better than you who you can fully delegate to means there will be more certainty to be able to successfully go on holiday and step away to enjoy the rest and recuperate fully.
Patricia Bacon is an expert business growth consultant and founder of Couplepreneurs a new global network for couples running businesses together. Find out more at www.couplepreneurs.co.uk