May 24 2012

Couples Who Work Together

Mom and Pop Businessess


Are Alive and Well In


Every Industry


and Marketplace



Because so many entrepreneurial ventures are launched, or brought on by, or result in hardworking people who also share a couple relationship (and because the marriage and work relationship I had with my wife lasted over 25 years), it seemed appropriate to devote a post to the subject. Maybe a couple of experience points here can benefit others?

  • FIRST: If you are in a love/work relationship and not killing each other every night, congratulations and God Bless You! You have somehow managed (or are at least still managing) to beat the odds. Being the spouse of a business owner or the spouse who is the brains behind the business owner (or are an involved but not-married business couple!) makes you special!

Very few relationships can withstand the attack on emotional, rational, and physical sensibilities that are brought on by the stress of running a business together, while living under the same roof. It’s important to stay “here-and-now” as much as possible. Have flexible, specific, realistic, due-dated goals (and write them down!), but remain focused on the present.



It takes a special way of relating to one another that requires greater sensitivity and sense of purpose than  a typical marriage where one or both partners leave the home each morning and return each night. I have often counseled to paint a line around the bedroom doorway and threshold beyond which, business discussions are not allowed . . . and communicate, communicate, communicate! Listen, listen, listen!

  • SECOND: Extreme trust and extreme sacrifice are the two characteristics of successful work/love relationships that cannot be compromised under any circumstances . . . ever! The temptations will be endless, but violating your love/work partner’s trust or not pulling your share of the load spell instant business failure, and often instant relationship failure too!

This distills down to being constantly conscious of not putting yourself in situations that could undermine the well-being of either your work or emotional relationship. Don’t go out partying on your own. Don’t hang out at bars or strip-clubs or trade show suites when you’re on business trips. Don’t wear provocative outfits when you’re on the road or attending meetings. Making a business and a relationship work at the same time requires integrity.

In other words, don’t ask for trouble

 because you’ll surely find it.


Working couples need to accept that friction will always be present. The trick is to work at making it be positive and productive friction. It takes far greater tolerance, patience and understanding than a non-working-together-couple relationship. The trade-off is that working couples–two people with one mindset–are almost always more effective and successful than flying solo.

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Hal@Businessworks.US    302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Oct 20 2009


 Right this minute,


is what you are doing


helping you get to


where you want to go?


     Oh, c’mon now,  I can’t be that productive every single minute; I’d be a robot! Yes, this is true; you’d be a robot; well, let’s say it’s  probably true, but you CAN be productive a whole lot more than you are right now and a whole lot more than you think you can be…and, uh, not be a robot.

     Here’s the trick:  Focus your brain on trying to be “here and now” as much as you possibly can, every passing moment. No, you’re not likely to succeed at it 100% of the time. And even 50% of the time may prove daunting. But if you are at 10% and go to 20%, that’s a major victory that will yield major benefits. Work your way to 30%, 4o%? You’re headed for the mountaintop!

     Why “here and now”?  Because everything else is fantasy, and you’re living in a reality world. When your dominant thoughts revolve around past and / or future events, ideas, experiences most of the time, it’s like trying to relocate Disneyland into a war zone.

     Your focus is not in tune  with what’s happening around you, and that’s wasted time and effort that you will never get back. (Er, in case you DO figure out how to get it back, call me collect immediately; I’ll make us both billionaires!)

     Sure, Hal, you make it sound easy,  but it’s pretty hard to not get worried about future stuff or to avoid dwelling on the past. How can I do that?

     Ah, funny you should ask.  First of all, recognize that we are talking about CHOICE. Your behavior is your choice. It can be conscious or unconscious, but it is a choice … or it’s a choice that sets up the behavior. Okay, so recognizing it’s a choice means also realizing that it’s as simple to choose to be tuned in to the present as it is to choose not to be.

     Next: Take ONE MINUTE out of your nerve-racking fast-lane life  and take some deep breaths. That will help, you get in touch with the most immediate “here and now” thing happening in your entire life: your breathing!

     If you do this in earnest, I guarantee you positive results, and I guarantee you it will help you get yourself focused on “here and now.”  IT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER RIGHT NOW IN JUST ONE MINUTE!

     You will be more productive more often, starting right this minute!  What have you got to lose? Wasted efforts? GO FOR IT!   

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Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You!

Make it a GREAT day for someone!

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