Walking the Tightrope

Early in our careers, there was a time when we both worked in CPA firms – Ron in auditing and Margaret in marketing. Our kids were six and three at the time and the “busy season” between January and April just about crushed our little family. We’re in a different place in our lives now, but there are still days when we struggle to keep a good balance. What’s especially frustrating is that we chose self-employment because we wanted a better life for ourselves on our own terms. 

So when things get crazy, we try to learn from other Copreneurs who are trying to juggle having a life while running a business. Below, three business couples share their philosophies about balancing life and work.  

Kim and Josh, in a committed relationship for 8 years, purchased a franchise 1 year ago

Being in a startup situation, the most difficult thing has been disconnecting from the business. We’ve learned the hard way that that means disconnecting from technology. We love technology and it improves our lives in so many ways. But to really be with each other for a few uninterrupted hours every week (not at work), we have to completely unplug. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. 

Matt and Amanda, married for 22 years, in business together for 8 years

Whoever came up with this idea of “work-life balance,” obviously wasn’t running a business. When people say they have it, it’s usually B.S. We’re not UNbalanced – we take care of ourselves, we make time for exercise, we take vacations. But we don’t buy into this phony separation between work and life. It’s all just life to us. 

Dave and Amy, business partners for 11 years, married for 9 years

The biggest thing has been to be really clear about who’s responsible for what on the domestic front. We almost had a disaster one time when each of us thought the other was taking care of the personal bills. We laugh about it now, but when our cable was disconnected, it was a dose of cold water. Maybe it sounds silly, but our feeling of balance comes from the little things that make our household run smoothly. Like, can everyone find their socks in the morning? 

This Week:  

Every business couple has a different philosophy about balancing work and life. What’s yours? How has it changed over the course of your relationship? What issues do the two of you still need to negotiate? 

When it comes to life balance, business couples must find their own center of gravity. 

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