Connection and communication are fundamental to all relationships, but particularly so for couples in business together. Shereem and I have to connect and communicate in order to be effective as spouses, parents, and business partners. Last week we took some time just to do that. We literally just sat in the bed together, watched this really cool show called “Working Moms” on Netflix, and talked. It was so good to be able to talk about a variety of things — some personal, some business — and even though we try to keep our business out of the bedroom, in this space it felt okay.
We were able to do this and not allow one aspect of our lives together to weave into the other. Don’t be mistaken, we are far from a perfect couple, but at this juncture in our lives with almost 20 years married, we understand that nothing will get accomplished if we don't connect. And that starts with communication.
So, as you go through the next week please try to connect with your spouse. Whether you guys are starting a business together, growing a business together, or one of you is supporting the other in their business ventures, the bottom line is that you must find time to communicate in a way that both of you will feel heard and appreciated. You didn't get married to argue. You didn't get married to just “agree to disagree.” You married to grow your connection. You married because you wanted to communicate with this person in a variety of ways. Do that and you’ll find happiness.
One of the biggest objections I hear from people who are even considering working with their spouse is that they're afraid their communication will be solely about business. One spouse will say, "She already nags me enough and I'm afraid that that'll extend into other areas of our lives." Another spouse may say, "He doesn't listen to me now, imagine if we have to overlap and work on an everyday basis. We'll be divorced by Tuesday." I don't believe this. People who are adults and want to do something inspiring for themselves and their children, and who want to leave a professional legacy, should not look at working with each other as an obstacle. Instead, why not look at it as an opportunity to increase your connection, to increase the communication, to do things that most people won't? Instead of looking at it as, "Uh-oh, we would never be good at that," look at it as, "Hey, I think we work pretty well together. Let's try it."