We’re asking our Modern Muse, Cindy Skanderup (who co-founded Bliss & Bone with her husband), for tips on maintaining a healthy relationship with a significant other that doubles as your business partner.
Dear Cindy, We love spending time with our partner (who doesn’t?), but the thought of juggling romantic and professional relationships with that person can be daunting. What can we expect if we go into business with our romantic partner and how do you and your husband make it work? – Bailey44
From the beginning my husband, Carl, and I agreed that we wouldn’t let the company compromise our relationship. We started it right after we got married, which was a pretty stressful venture for a newlywed couple, but it worked! It’s as good as it is because we’re doing it together and if one of us wasn’t part of it I don’t think it would have lasted this long.
Here are a few tips that work for us:
- Define your professional roles (for your own sanity). In the beginning we struggled with this because I was used to handling everything on my own and Carl was new to the creative field. Those first few months were stressful, but once our roles were separated we could function in a normal environment. He’s the business and I’m the creative so we each bring different things to the table and we don’t step on each other’s toes. Most of the day we’re just doing our own thing, which I love.
- Set aside couple time. From the get-go you have to commit to setting aside time to be just a couple that doesn’t work together. This is hard for us sometimes and it’s something we have to make a conscious effort to do, but the earlier you can get into the habit the better.
- Routine, routine, routine. Developing a structured routine helps enforce the transition from work to personal time, especially when you’re operating out of your home like we are. Honestly having a kid forced this on us because it gave us other responsibilities. Before then there was much less structure and work would creep into all hours of the night.