Our first encounter was at was at a training event. In truth a non-event would have been a better description.
Our second encounter was in an elevator. And my unplanned elevator pitch “Do you work here?” was to become my one liner, because by the time we were outside the building I had discovered this goddess standing in front of me had recently returned from overseas, was also a financial planner, just moved to Kirribilli and like me also loved to travel.
Jump forward 3 months on a semi daily basis we were working together i.e. I was a junior adviser and she a senior advisor. Meaning in the hierarchy of banking, I was to refer larger investing customers to a more senior staff
Twelve months later we were married and jumping forward another ten years I'm now running my own financial planning business and in need of a qualified, committed employee whom I could whole heartedly trust, Who could fill such a position and expectations? I know.... my wife.
Many of you would advise me against my decision, along with giving me many valid reasons. Others would congratulate both my wife and I, while in the same breath ask us “how on earth we do it?” Our answer always the same “You just do!”
If you have your own business you're already well aware of the many risks and benefits of working with your spouse.
With this in mind and with the clarity of hindsight (approaching twenty years of marriage and eight years working together) the following is my Good, Bad and Ugly list of what us brave souls who work with their spouses will most probably experience.
The good news is…..
- You’re in this together. Meaning that together you will live and breathe your goals, your hopes, struggles and success together, in both life and business. Just as in marriage you are in business together. For richer, poorer, in sickness and in health, you are not alone, your spouse will be right there beside you. For anyone in business just knowing you have this level of support is often what gets you through the dark times.
It’s interesting to note that successful business also have exactly the same ingredients and characteristics as successful marriages. They have trust, appreciation, acknowledgement, pleasant surprises and the sacrificing of ones ego for the benefit of the other. Implement these ingredients in business and so too will your relationships by their very nature be enhanced along with experiencing something more enriching than just tasting success on its own.
- Your business is transparent. The truth is results always require action. “An inch of action always goes further than a mile of good intentions”. The good news is working with your spouse will be held accountable to your actions, in business and at home 24/7 and 365 days a year. You each have a very good idea of what each other is doing, or not doing.and by knowing so you will be more motivated to do the work required i.e. action!
Strengths, weaknesses, outstanding and completed tasks quickly become apparent and allow each spouse to contribute to the solution and again by doing so, deliver a better outcome for all. As we both like to say “so nothing falls through the cracks”. It is this doing, reviewing, doing again and holding each other accountable along the way that we have come to have greater confidence to achieve both our businesses and personal goals, on time, on budget while staying on track.
The bad news is……