As many of you may know by now, I am a pretty successful
author, but what might be news is the fact that I also have a production
company that I own with my husband, and were putting on our first production
We decided to turn my first novel, Secret Society, into a stage play. In doing so, over the past seven
months weve been working together more closely and more frequently than weve
worked together in our entire 12-year relationship.
While we both feel enthusiastic about this venture, there
are times that we are ready to kill each othertrue story. Okay, well not to
that extent. But there have been plenty I quit and plenty I cant work with
Throughout it the question, is it possible to work for or
with your mate? has come up numerous times. But as my husband and I have grown
through the process weve found ways to make it work.
The cardinal rule in being able to work for or with your
mate is keeping your personal relationship separate from your professional one.
In other words, and Im sure you heard this before, dont mix business with
pleasure - and I dont mean this in a sexual way.
In fact, if we were talking about sex then there would be no
need for this article. If couples had a hard time keeping sex out of the office,
then I can almost assure you their working relationship would be just fine. No,
I mean it in an emotional way.
For example, if you and your mate have an argument about
something personal, dont get mad and throw the laptop he or she uses to close
deals out of the window. Dont show up at a business meeting with steam coming
out of your head, rolling your eyes and sucking your teeth every time your mate
speaks. And in the event you are the boss, dont fire your mate just because
you two had a bad week at home.
As hard as it may be, you must keep the problems you are
having at home at home, and away from the office. No different from when you
work for a complete stranger. The only difference is when its your mate you
work for or with, you may feel like this rule is breakable. Its not!
Another way of making a dual partnership work is by
remembering that you and your mate have each others best interest at heart.
Therefore, when your mate suggests something that you may not understand or
believe will work, or when your mate disagrees with you on something that you
feel strongly about, dont automatically shut them down or write them off
because thats just wifey or boo-boo talking.
Take time to hear them out and fully consider their opinions,
because at the end of the day they arent just looking out for the business but
theyre looking out for yousomething you may not find in working with
strangers or mere associates. Keep in mind that your mate will offer suggestions
that may benefit you personally and professionally
so be more open to what he or she has to say. And if it turns out that it
wasnt the best idea, at least you can rest assure knowing that your mates
intentions were good.
The act of respecting each others job titles could probably
be number one in finding ways to make working for or with your mate doable.
Its definitely a major component. You see, job titles are just thattitles.
Theyre labels but they dont define who you are or what you can do. A
secretary may sound like a mediocre position, but in reality it is the
secretary that does the bulk of the work. The same goes for a paralegal in a
So, its important for you to respect the job title no
matter what it is, because without it where would your business be? How would
your office get run without your secretary? In fact, in many cases, the boss
has the least amount of duties.
It reminds me of this quote I read once. It said: Do you
want to speak to the man in charge or to the woman who knows whats going on?
I found that quote interesting. It made so much sense to me,
and I think about it a lot when Im working with my husband. No offense to him
or any other man, but in my experience, its the women who are the backbones of
their husbands businesses and companiesdespite the fact that they may not be
Another important aspect of having a working relationship
with your significant other is balancing the time you spend working and the
time you spend not working. What I mean by this is, when you work with your
mate it is easy to get caught up in making your relationship a working one
non-stop. For instance, after hours when everybody is settled in bed and you
notice your mate coming on to you, the last thing you want to do is start
asking questions like, Did you send that email? When are we going to closing?
Did you order the supplies? How much was the invoice? Blah blah blah
Working with your mate does not warrant you the right to be
all business all the time. You have to create balance. You should put as much
time and energy into your personal relationship as you put into you business
relationship and vice versa. All work and no play can be breeding grounds for a
separation or divorce. So know when to trade the business partner for the other
partnerwhether that be sex partner, life partner or spades partner. You know
where Im going.
Finally, celebrate! Having your own business or company,
being self-employed or entrepreneurial is stressful enough without partnering
with your companion. But having your mate as your boss or your partner adds
more stress, because you have more things to be mad at that person about than
you would if he or she was just your business partner.
With all the stress and frustration that is likely to arise,
it is important to take time out to celebrate the good. Any time a goal is
achieved, an amount of success is earned, or there is an accomplishment within
your business, make sure you and your partner celebrate that moment. Go out for
drinks. Toast to the good news. Enjoy and savor that moment, because it makes
all the arguing, stress, trials and tribulations worth it.
Theres no better feeling than making it to the top with the
one person you love and trust the most, and its one destination thats worth
the bumpy ride.
Miasha is the author
of Dont Make Him Dinner, Make Him Rich! How to Be the Superwoman of Today, coming soon. She is also author of fiction bestsellers Diary of a Mistress, Mommys Angel, Sistah for Sale, and Never Enough all available in bookstores and online nationwide. For more information or to hear Miasha address your comments, go to her website www.miasha.com and click on Miasha TV-Real