When my husband and I first set out to open our first business together we didn’t have a plan. We had no idea what it would be like or what to expect or how it was going to work. Our motto is “everything happens for a reason” so we just go with that and hope for the best, always! But to be honest, working with your spouse isn’t easy.
The first 3 months
My husband and I technically started working together about 6 months ago when we started the construction of our restaurant. He was traveling for his other job most days during the month and I was at home overseeing everything and working with the contractors. We started out working together from a distance and when he’d come home, we would play “catch-up”. That was rough! The first 3 months of working together didn’t go the greatest. Matt, my husband, felt out of the loop and I didn’t feel like he was as involved as he should be. Both were completely fair feelings.
When we hit “go” on the construction, everything moved very quickly. There were tons of meetings with the builder, contractors and everyone else in between. Decisions needed to be made and most decision needed to be made immediately. My husband missed most meetings and there was so much being decided, I couldn’t keep track. I tried to call and keep him in the loop as much as possible but it was exhausting and hard to even remember. When he would come home, we’d meet at the restaurant and I would go over what happened that week. Lots of things I would forget to tell him. Therefore, he felt out of the loop when he would catch a conversation between myself and another contractor. He was frustrated and I was frustrated.
When We Figured “it” Out
After 3 months of not working together the greatest, we were at our breaking point. He thought that I had everything under control and he just focused on his other job. I felt like I was drowning and couldn’t keep up. Not to mention the fact that I was entering my 3rd trimester of pregnancy and couldn’t do what I once could. We argued on & off for a couple weeks until we finally sat down and said “ok this isn’t working”. We came up with a plan and a better system on how to communicate.
Literally, Google Calendar has been a savior to us! Every single meeting that I had I would put it in Google Calendar so Matt could see what was going on that day. If I forgot to tell him something, he could look at the calendar and see what that day would consist of. He could keep track of the project and meetings from anywhere. Immediately, I could tell that he was feeling more involved. I tend to think I can do it ALL but I can’t. I started to schedule meetings for my husband for when he was home which helped a ton! He felt included and I started to feel lighter.
I stopped caring that I was interrupting his day and started to over communicate. I knew that his job would be coming to an end sooner rather than later so he needed to be 100% involved in our business. He needed to know everything that was going on even if it involved something as silly as adding an electrical outlet. He needed to know and approve everything too. I noticed an immediate difference in both of us. Reviewing the next day before we go to bed has been really helping too. Over communication saved us!
Staying in our Lanes
This has always been important to me- stay in your lane! Stay in the lane that you are good at. Thankfully, this is one thing that Matt and I are really good at. We always consult each other and bounce ideas off each other but we never cross the line of trying to micromanage each other. He’s good at what he’s good at and I’m good at what I’m good at. We have confidence in one another.
Although we are business partners, our marriage comes first. Just like in any relationship, showing your significant other that you appreciate them is so important. A simple “thank you for working so hard” really goes along way. At the end of the night, when we are laying in bed we always say “thank you”. Might sound corny or unnecessary but it has really worked for us.
Be Aware of Each Other’s Work Load
Some days my husband will have more to do and some days I will have more to do. We try to help each other out as much as we can. For example, right now while I’m typing out this blog post, Matt is sitting on the floor copying documents that we need for our final inspection in 1 hour. Team work makes the dream work!
Working Together Full-Time
Matt was officially done with his former job two and a half weeks ago and it has been AMAZING! Busy but amazing. I love working with him- he has a calm energy which is refreshing because I’m not so calm. It’s been a great balance. Although I love working with him, every day we’ve had to maintain the over communication and the scheduling. It’s been nice to work with my him too because he understands more than anyone what is going on in our lives…like being 37 weeks pregnant, opening a business. He’s done a fantastic job of treating me like his wife first and business partner second. I have a whole new appreciation towards him and what he does for us as a couple & soon-to-be family.
I know it’s only been a couple short weeks working together but so far so good. We’ll definitely have stuff to work on. The restaurant is not even open yet so we have a whole new layer being added to our work relationship…very shortly.
I’m going to update this post over the next few months to let you know what some of our successes have been and some of our failures.