Entrepreneurial Couples: Making it Work at Work and at Home
Caught in the squeeze of trying to maintain two careers in today’s tough corporate climate, more and more couples are giving up their jobs in order to start their own businesses. Whether they work together in a business or are each owners of a separate enterprise, these entrepreneurial couples face a daunting task–balancing the competing demands of love and work.
“The couple bond is a significant element in the success of entrepreneurial businesses,” says psychologist and business consultant Kathy Marshack in Entrepreneurial Couples. “Not only do these partners negotiate with each other for love, sex, status, and support, but they also depend on the relationship for their own self-definition.”
Marshack examines the traps these couples can fall into and offers practical advice for dealing with them. For exmaple, entrepreneurial couples with a full family life have greater potential for communication breakdown and interpersonal problems than do other couples. They often fail to confront issues head on, instead relying on compromise and other avoidance techniques to ward off conflict. “Decisions arrived at through compromise usually lack creativity and seldom last,” says the author. “It may be fine to compromise about choosing a restaurant for dinner, but compromising about your business can sabotage your competitive edge.”
Trying to keep family and business issues separate is just not realistic, according to Marshack. To be successful as an entrepreneurial couple requires planning a life–a life that includes your personal and relationship goals as well as your career and business goals. Entrepreneurial Couples shows how to assess each area of your life and offers tips and twelve different exercises for brainstorming, creating contingency plans, achieving flexibility, and developing a successful life and business plan with your partner.
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