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Secrets for Successful Couple-preneurs

Running a successful business with your soulmate has always been idyllic and intriguing for me. I always used to wonder how couples strike a balance between their personal and professional lives, especially when they are together all the time. In fact, working together helps determine your mutual career destinies, instead of spending many hours apart, working for someone else. This inspired me to speak to some wonderful couples across India, who planned to be partners in crime in everything, and decided to build a meaningful life together by co-creating something that brings them joy and fulfillment. However, this interaction about their journeys brought some key takeaways for me. 

Be on the same page
Keen alignment and shared vision are the keys to success for any business. Though couples share a level of intimacy and friendship, it is important that they are aligned on their career vision and their life goals too. Because only then will both of them be able to do justice with the enterprise. 

Define your roles and responsibilities
Since with couple-preneurs, the line between personal and business gets very blurred, it is very important to sit down, critically analyse each others area of interest, their forte and accordingly define their roles and responsibilities. If one of them is managing operations, then the better half would manage marketing. This not only avoids day to day conflicts, but also empowers both of their decision-making power. This usually brought out the best in them, and also saved them from stepping into the other’s shoes. Having said that, though both of them can discuss the intricacies of their responsibilities but the other person should not question the final decision of the owner to keep the productivity flowing.

However, as the business grows and phases in both personal and professional life change, it is indeed a good practice to revisit each others’ roles, because here both of their lives are closely knitted, any change anywhere can have larger impact. It is a popular saying that “competition and resentment are the most common between the people who are close to each other, for rest we usually don’t care much.

Maintain work-life (and love) balance 
It is very important to keep a check on how your business decisions are impacting your personal life. Either it can do wonders, or wreck everything. It is important to keep experimenting to see what works well for you as a couple, and how a decision can reinforce your love for each other, because something that has worked for one, needn’t work for everyone. Since as a couple, onus lies on individuals, their circumstances, best way is to figure the ways that works well amongst you. One way could be e.g.- Keep a weekly review meeting where-in both of you can brainstorm your ideas, startup strategies etc. However, do keep in mind, never ever discuss work over dinner table or carry work to home. It is more important to finish of the tasks in office rather than bringing them home.

Keep changing roles 
Both at home or workplace, pretend as if you are not working together or vice-versa Eg- While he/she is home, pretend the way you have been, if he/she has come back from work, asking their regular routine in nut shell etc. And while they are in office, pretend they are your colleagues, and behave in the same manner.

Be kind, understanding and respectful. 
Marriage is one relationship, which calls for lot of trust, understanding and mutual respect. Absence of any of these, the whole institution falls flat. It is very important to make sure that both of you respect each other. Since here lives are way too inter-wined, conflicts are bound to happen. It is important to handle them respectfully and keeping each other’s priorities in mind and supporting it as well.

Do not miss to celebrate the milestones of your unique life journeys together. Make sure you sneak out time to celebrate even smallest success of your enterprise amongst yourselves and make each other realize that they have been instrumental in this success. 

For me, it is more like being married to your work, and at the same time getting the chance to spend quality time with your spouse. This unique partnership, lets you explore the other side of your spouse, which would not have been possible in the absence of this plunge. This journey is always special and bring lot of perks with itself, as they say “No risk, No gain”.

- Prachi Garg

Prachi Garg is the author of ‘Superwomen’, a collection of journeys from 20 women entrepreneurs and Supercouples. She is also a serial entrepreneur, after failing miserably in her first start-up "Managing Minds", she started "", which is a pioneer in organising corporate travel and have recently extended to solo women travel.

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