7 Tips for Working with your Spouse/Partner
Chip and Joanna, Beyonce and Jay Z...and Loren and Chris (LXC)! If you have fallen in love with LXC (LorenXChris), then it will be no surprise to you that this awesome pair doesn’t just make for amazing presets, but is a winning photography team and power couple. Here they give us some wisdom and practical advice for navigating work alongside your spouse/partner.
We’ve noticed that there are several couples within our Tribe that work together in their photography business! It’s only natural that creative people are attracted to other creative people. If you’re both in the wedding industry, then offering your services as a married couple is a marketing dream.
Why does it make sense to mix business and personal relationships? Well for starters, you already ‘get’ each other, you already have chemistry and knowledge of how the other communicates, and you even have even similar life goals. These are all great foundations for a strong personal relationship and business relationship! Here are 7 tips to help keep everything harmonious!
Keep work communication and personal communication separate. Schedule time to talk business and then unplug from work and be present in each others personal lives. Do not bring personal life/relationship arguments into business discussions.
There may be a tendency to speak casually about issues or problems with someone you are already so comfortable with. You have to be deliberate about treating one another with the same courtesy and respect you would give any colleague or coworker. Sometimes one person has a position of authority over the other within the business—be respectful of that authority. Never argue in front of others, especially clients. Following these tips will help prevent negative issues that could carry into your home life and could even effect your business reputation.
When discussing anything, make sure you are actively listening and participating in the conversation. Choose a time when you are both able to focus and give your full attention. Make an effort to hear your partner’s ideas, and let them finish a thought before adding to the conversation.
Divide the work.
Play to your strengths. Know where your partner thrives, and pick up the tasks that are more suited to you. If you find that you are more comfortable with customer relations and your partner is more comfortable handling the technical aspects of the business, than communicate when you need help from the other. Dividing tasks and supporting one another this way leads to better business and productivity. This goes for home life too. Find what balance works for you as a couple and strategize how to divide work and home responsibilities. And don’t be afraid to ask one another for help.
It can be helpful to have your own personal space—whether with separate work spaces, separate roles within the business, or even space for separate personal hobbies. It’s healthy to feel your own individual success. It can help with productivity to have a little time away from each other, and when dealing with problem solving it's essential to have a place to think and process on your own.
Keep the romance ALIVE! Don’t lose your connectivity and intimacy through constant work and no play. Personal connection was likely a big reason why you chose to go into business together in the first place, so maintaining this aspect of your relationship will help when handling the tough stuff at work too. Give time to your relationship! Just as corporate offices do retreats and special event nights to help with morale, you can make spending quality time with each other a priority. Nurture eachother and make sure that you celebrate one another’s successes.
Personal Relationships Come First.
We cannot express how important communication is. If something isn’t working for you, talk about it. Don’t grow resentments when you could be working through solutions. Remember to be forgiving and kind to one another. Keep it in the corner of your mind that you can always find someone else to work with—this is just a business, a job. Personal relationships, on the other hand, are irreplaceable and should be PRIORITIZED.
HOW WE CAME TO BE LORENXCHRIS
We had been in a relationship together for several years, and had even survived a long distance spell. Chris had established a small photography business on his own. When Loren graduated from college, we realized that we would make a good team for wedding photography. Our communication within our personal relationship and our natural yin and yang balance was one of the best we had ever experienced—and we literally had spent every second we could together since high school!! Each of us had strengths that complimented the other, making for an incredible business partnership. While our life/work balance might drive some couples crazy; it works for us.
Know the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship before putting the potential strain of working together on it. When it works well, sharing business successes with your partner is rewarding and creates a very unique and wonderful job environment!