There are some people who strongly believe you should not mix business with pleasure. Just because you aren’t having some steamy affair at work doesn’t mean sharing a company with your spouse is any better. Then again, such a venture could turn out to be quite prosperous.
Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe are just one celebrity couple making the decision to work together. The pair now has their own daytime talk show. Ice-T and Coco will soon follow suit with a celebrity talk show of their own this August. These of course are only two examples of married couples who’ve chosen to pursue a business venture together.
Have you heard of Mara Brock-Akil and Salim Akil? While you might not recognize them on a red carpet, they are pretty major players in the entertainment game. The married duo run Akil Productions that gave us the television show Girlfriends, and the current BET hit, Being Mary Jane. They each call the shots throughout different areas of their company and seem to respect what the other brings to the table.
Would you ever consider working with your husband or wife?
It obviously is not a walk in the park as many seem to try, but can and will fail. Y’all remember the Neelys who showed us how fabulous grease is in our food (their fried chicken recipe is heaven). After many years together, the couple announced their split, which led to the end of their television show and restaurant closings.
There’s a part of me that would love to pursue a venture with my husband. He’s the exact opposite of me and tends to cover the technical demands of our relationship. I’m more creative that, for the most part, compliments his analytical nature. Does this mean we would be a great match in business? Perhaps.
Truth be told, I don’t think there’s a perfect formula to married couples working together. All of us operate in our own personalities and feelings that can make life harder or easier. There are however a few takeaways I think we can apply that will make entrepreneurship a little more digestible — and less likely to head to divorce court.
Know your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone brings something unique to the table. What you might be good at can differ from your spouse, and that’s OK. Hone in on your strengths as well as weaknesses so you can delegate if and when necessary.
Stay in your lane. Partnerships can be very successful when both parties stay in their lane. Does this mean you can’t give tips or here and there advice? No. However, that doesn’t give you the right to try and take over everything. Wendy Williams talks about the success her and her “husbanger” see with The Wendy Williams Show. Sure it has her name in bright lights, but she allows husband Kevin Hunter to make important decisions in the background. Just because you both are front and center doesn’t mean one person is more or less valuable.
Like your marriage, your business relationship needs respect and room for everyone to work how they see fit. Stop trying to control everything.
Lead a double life. Any drama or shop talk needs to stay in the office. The second you clock out, focus on your personal life. Too many couples carry arguments from the day into their bedroom that are counterproductive.
Keep dialogue flowing. If something is bothering you, speak up. There’s no point in letting things build up that will cause an unnecessary argument.
Get things in writing. As much as you love your spouse, we are talking about business here. Ain’t no shame in your game for putting things related to your business in writing. This will help all parties involved understand their duties and parameters of the company.
Do you think you could work with your spouse?