In September of 2016, I found myself facing this question after self-starting 4 companies on my own within a decade. My spouse, Cole at the time was a successful commercial developer. He made it clear he also wanted to continue his passion and expertise for real estate. I had just finished my real estate schooling and passed the exams to become a licensed agent in the state of Utah. Something inside me told me to put my real estate license on hold and look into a free, zero investment business opportunity with an upcoming cloud-based company that had been skyrocketing with patented products. But, the question lingered…
Do I want to work with my spouse? How will it affect my marriage? What are the pros and cons? What about my real estate license I recently worked so hard for? What about my multiple other businesses? I faced all these questions for myself and especially as a mother.
We decided given both our personalities as entrepreneurs and our deepest priority being to continue to raise our children ourselves from home, that we had nothing to lose by joining the company as free influencers and seeing what our collaboration as a couple would blossom into. We moved forward with three promises 1) a promise to dedicate a minimum of 3 years to the business before evaluating our “success”, because no business is built overnight, we know that from experience 2) to grow our business authentically by sharing the products and never have to “sell them,” because we are confident in the benefits based on our experience 3) stay true to us always and focus on our continued self-improvement as a couple and individuals on our own journey.
Well, it’s 2019 and we’re about 2.5 years into that “2016 decision” and I can confidently tell you – YES! YES! YES! I would want to work with my spouse. I absolutely cherish it on so many levels. While some of you may read this and quite literally think that’s your worst nightmare.
So, let’s talk about what two years of working with my spouse has done for our marriage and what it’s like to work with your spouse.
Create Together, Learn Together, Grow Together
Marriage is about creating a life together, making memories right? When you work together with your spouse you are creating a stronger bond and confidence in each other, which generates daily memories of what it takes to succeed – together. After two and a half years of working with my spouse we have created a new form of success together. We found a fulfilling success and created a stronger bond as we achieved many goals hand-in-hand. Our late nights, long travels, lots of brainstorming, lots of calls and early mornings to rise and work before others blossomed our life together. We’ve gained different levels of respect from seeing what it takes to be in synergy while working together.
Running a business with your spouse is a learning curve. You are not only problem solving, learning and growing your education in the business together, but also learning more about your spouse each day. Cole and I both agree we have learned a lot about one another since being in business together. We see where each of us excels and where each of us needs improvement and how far we have come. We both love learning and taking every opportunity to learn, so we may grow stronger inside and outside of our business. You also learn how your partner motivates, how they handle stress, tasks, other relationships, meetings, interactions, opportunities, mishaps and more. You learn their learning style. You learn their patterns. You learn more and more about their body language and skill sets. They rub off on you. You then compliment one another and begin to grow and adapt together. It’s unexplainable. It’s remarkable. It’s next level marriage bonding in my opinion. It’s exhilarating to work with your spouse.
If you are not growing together, you are growing apart. That’s a fact. Not everything you do in life and daily life will involve or require your spouse. In fact, there is such thing as too much time together. However, when you challenge yourself as individuals, as a couple and within a business you will naturally grow together. We personally attribute a new form of growth within our marriage, health and relationships to taking on this new business just over two years ago. Because we work together and spend a lot of time together having similar interests, we enjoy our personal time. It’s a must. We each have our meetings, activities, trips and other businesses that we participate in as individuals. We are excellent about coordinating our schedules and communicating needs.
It’s NOT easy being dual-work from home parents. Did you read that twice too? Wondering, how the heck can’t two full time parents figure it out? Tell us about it! We didn’t expect it to be so hard. The ever-changing roles of who’s “parent-role” so our two young daughters are not ignored is quite comical. It’s flipping by the minute, the phone call, the meeting and by the hours sometimes. When you work-from-home it’s not the glamorous picture some Instagram moms paint. But it is everything we wanted and worked so hard for. We wake up, we go to the gym, we come home and work side-by-side showing our children what entrepreneurship looks and feels like.
We are starting off 2019 in typically entrepreneur fashion, celebrating our second joint-business together (since the first joint-business is going so well). You will now find us hand-in-hand working on our official Friesian-Sporthorse breeding program, Wadsworth Sporthorses debuting this spring!
If you’ve ever considered working with your spouse, listen to your gut instinct. You are in control of whether it strengthens your marriage, your abundance, your goals, your life and your quality of life. My best advice is move forward with three set promises that will set you up for success. Stick to them and see where your partnership excels you. My top three promise suggestions to set you in the right direction are:
1. Collectively set a realistic timeline based on how long you want to dedicate to the business before determining if it’s worth continuing to grow appropriately in accordance to the time spent and investment. We set our timeline at three years for the purpose of year one being a learning curve/foundational set, year two being tremendous traction/action and year three of becoming the expert after experience sets in before evaluating. This has been a great number for us so far on all of our businesses. Consistency is the key, no matter what. Remember that. You can not half attempt to open a business, kind-of work at it and call it a failure when you never put in the actual work required based on the industry standard for your venture.
2. Talk about what you are NOT willing to compromise based on whatever aspects of the new business that may be out of your character (not comfort zone) Every entrepreneur needs to get outside their comfort zone to hit their potential. At the end of the day an entrepreneur’s advantage is the ability to choose to surround themselves with income opportunities that they are passionate about. If your business has ideals, standards or criteria that don’t mesh with you, evaluate how you can make it your own. For us, we technically joined a sales company, but selling or being “salesy” isn’t what makes us happy nor is it our personalities. Sounds like a big problem right? Nope! We reevaluated each of our characters and problem solved. We know what makes us both happy and that is helping people feel authenticity. So our second promise was to attract sales and lead by example to help clients, versus cold sales and pushing product on clients.
3. Decide a marriage goal within the partnership in business. Our number three promise was to stay true to us (our marriage) and focused on our continued self-improvement as individuals and as a couple, meaning zero complacency. Complacency is the killer of marriage AND business growth. For us, the free opportunity platform we joined could provide a quick (under 10 years or less) safety net residually and therefore for many, it could easily lead to complacency within the company’s potential. We promised one another no matter the amount of growth or success, we would not become complacent, but continue to lead by example and never think we have maxed out our potential, influence or reach. On the marriage side, this stands true for not being complacent in our everyday lives as individuals. Vowing to continue to push ourselves to each new level of our spiritual, mental, physical health and prosperity wellness; knowing you will always grow in these areas so long as you make time for their success too.
I am thankful for your time to consider what your life might look like too by inviting your spouse to embark on an entrepreneur path with you. If you have been on this path longer than us, we would love to hear how it’s grown your marriage too! On the flip side, I’d love to hear if you choose to take on the abundance and exciting journey of working with your spouse too! Let’s stay connected.
We hope you enjoy this past video we clipped together in 2017 to celebrate our adventure after being in business together for a year. We look forward to 2019 and the new couples, individuals, parents, students and lives we will meet and have the opportunity to impact. We are moving onto a new chapter and looking to show others the way to self-creation, learning and growth.
Brooke & Cole Wadsworth
Follow our growing adventures on Instagram!