It is important to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each spouse, maximize the strengths, and minimize the weaknesses. It is also important to recognize you may use different styles to get things done.
My wife and business partner, Laurene, and I have very different ways of doing things. That is part of the reason we make a great team. Our skill sets complement one another.
Strengths and Weaknesses
|Big-picture guy||Strong on tasks, projects, details|
|Likes to get to work early and leave early||Likes to get to work late and stay late|
|Likes meetings and face-to-face contact with employees||Very e-mail-centric communication style|
|Likes to delegate as many tasks as possible||Would rather do it herself (the right way)|
|Good with financial data||Great taking care of clients|
|Looking for fast decisions and results||A perfectionist who will take her time|
|A bit of a slob||Meticulous|
|A packrat||Keeps office (and house) spotless|
|Strong strategically||Strong tactically|
We have openly discussed our strengths and weaknesses for many hours and have tried to maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. We did this by organizing the company in a way that maximized our strengths, minimized our weaknesses, and eliminated overlap so we wouldn’t contradict each other—especially in front of our employees.
When we launched PurchasingNet, Inc., Laurene was responsible for sales. After a while, she gravitated toward software-implementation projects and customer service—areas she loved.
I then took the sales responsibility and became fairly good at it. I must admit, we have had many discussions over the years about who was better equipped to handle this responsibility. Eventually, we divided company responsibilities so that I was responsible for everything that took place before a sale, and Laurene took responsibility for the customer experience after the sale.
The main point here is to communicate as much as possible, maximize your individual strengths, and minimize your weaknesses. As long as you share common values and agree on your level of commitment and effort in the new business, marriage and business partnership can coexist nicely.