"You what? Work with your husband? And you work out of your house? Are you serious?!" I've been asked these questions countless times over the past 12 years since my husband, Ken, and I started LikeWear out of our house. These questions are almost always followed (once the asker has been able to close their mouth from the incredulity of the idea) with the statement, "My husband and I could NEVER be in business together. It just wouldn't work. And neither would our marriage."
Sometimes I'm even surprised at how Ken and I have been able to work together and that our marriage seems to be stronger because of it. But, it definitely HAS NOT been easy. No sir-ee. Working with your spouse introduces all kinds of additional financial pressures and responsibilities on top of those that already exist with maintaining a household and raising children. It takes a lot of time, money and work to get a new business going -- and even more to maintain it and keep it going and growing.
Probably the hardest part of working together has been separating work and personal life. The lines are always blurred. Although I think we both do a pretty good job of keeping that work vs. family line in focus, there's always room for improvement. It’s sometimes hard to ever have an end to the work day (or a regular start to the work day as we often are working on promotions and projects early in the morning before the school day even begins). There is always more to do than the two of us can physically accomplish so I know why we gravitate towards trying to get some stuff done at night or early in the morning. As such, it's often a conscious, planned effort to pull away and focus on our kids, our outside interests and even ourselves.
So, just how do we make it work? What advice would I give to other couples looking to work together?
Admittedly, working with your husband or wife is not a typical scenario. And it’s not always easy. But I feel lucky that I love what I do and who I do it with. I wouldn’t change a thing.