Working with your spouse, for better or for worse…

couple

 

This week, I’ll be discussing a few of the entrepreneur’s challenges, big and small. Let’s start with a huge one: working with your spouse.

 

Kohezion’s story

Let’s be honest, when I joined Thierry in the business a little under two years ago, things were very different from today’s reality. And let’s be honest again, this is a VERY good thing, we had A LOT to learn as partners in business and as partners in life.

Learning to work as an entrepreneur

If you remember, I have a very strong academic background and Thierry doesn’t. This means that our creative processes were diametrically opposed. I was used to work on a trimestrial schedule, I used to know exactly what I had to do and when it was due. This is how I started writing the content for the website and scripts for the videos. Boy, was it a challenge. I was on a parallel reality, I wasn’t an entrepreneur.

 

Learning to get feedback from your spouse

I used to work for days on a script, do a first video take and then show it to Thierry. He was feeling horrible for me since he had to tell me it was boring. (It was REAL bad.) And I would take it personally and cry. Then I would procrastinate and have writer’s block since I was afraid to disappoint him again. Now I know that I just have to write something, anything and then read it and change it and change it again. This is how you create good stuff.

If you don’t know it yet, learn it TODAY, entrepreneurs must do as much as possible in one day. The deadline is always now. No syllabus to tell you exactly what you should do and how you should do it. Just do it. Fail. Do it again. And fail again until you have it right. This is how I learned to be creative using the iterative process.

 

 

Lessons we learned

So what is the lesson? Should you work with your spouse? I say yes, if it fits your needs. It sure can be hard, but it sure can be rewarding.

 

Communication

Communication is the keyword. Listen, listen, listen. Learning to give and take constructive feedback is incredibly important. Remember, IT IS NOT PERSONAL. It’s for the best of your business.

 

Territories

Each have your zone of competence, complementing each other. Thierry takes care of all the development, project management and technical stuff. I take care of sales, communications, networking and marketing. You’ll rarely see me putting my nose in the technical stuff and you’ll very rarely see him doing networking. (Unless we need to play husband and wife. Then I have to literally drag him out with me.)

 

Boundaries?

Everybody will tell you to have clear boundaries separating personal and work time. I say it doesn’t work. We’re not even trying anymore. We’re discussing application design in bed and we’re taking personal time during the afternoon if we feel like it. This is why we both jumped both feet in the business, to be the masters of our life. Maybe our life is a bit messy sometimes, but we love it that way. And most important, we still love each other.

 

 

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Marie-Josee Porlier

Sales Director at Kohezion
Marie-Josée Porlier is the Sales Director and main blogger @ Kohezion. Ask her your questions about the cloud computing industry, online database software, database applications, legacy systems, business solutions and business productivity. She can be reached at mjporlier(at)kohezion(dot)com.