HUSBAND AND WIFE BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP: CAN IT REALLY WORK?
No, you can’t work together, you’ll kill each other. You argue all the time, how can you possibly work together in the same business? Or, you are very opinionated and don’t do well taking orders from him/her, let alone run a business together? It won’t work. Are you crazy? You will kill each other.
That is what I constantly heard from people, who heard we work together seven days a week.
There is no secret or magic formula to succeed as a husband and wife team running the same company. Let me explain.
When we started out in this country we had no experience whatsoever, not in business and not in communication with each other. We just got married which meant we argued, a whole lot. Maybe because each of us cared about our ego more than anything else. We took a risk, left our country (that’s a long story on its own), arrived to New York and within a few months we became the owners of a fabulous little gift shop in West Village. Being a young newly-married couple in a foreign country was hard enough but being newly-married couple in a foreign country AND being pregnant AND becoming business partners without knowing what we were doing, was even harder. I don’t know what I was thinking. But the truth is, I wasn’t.
The beginning of our entrepreneurial partnership was nothing like I expected. We’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.
At times there was a power struggle, survival struggle, even, resentment. Becoming new parents just before opening our retail shop only added to the tension; a lack of effective communication did not help either. But something deep inside both of us kept whispering to move on and try harder, to look at the big picture and use our heads instead of our hearts. I remember one of our first customers approached us while my husband and I were talking and said: “my father use to tell me, ‘if you want to do the right thing take care of your business and your business will take care of you.’” There’s so much to learn from one simple yet smart sentence.
Moving forward as years have gone by our business partnership has evolved, much as our personal life and like they say, “with experience comes wisdom.” I’m proud to say that with all the struggles of working together, since the beginning of our lives in the States we never stopped encouraging each other to communicate better and guide each other to become better listeners and decision makers regardless of how different we might be from each other.
We keep personal and business issues separate. We both know what we are good at and who’s in charge of what in the business. We make decisions on every issue with a clear understanding that we may not always agree, but as long as we are on the same page and have the same goals, we do everything as a team and for the team. Trust and commitment are key!
To me, our husband-wife partnership can’t be more evident then when we both play in the same competitive sport — tennis doubles. As long as you know your position on the court and plan the game ahead of time with your partner/husband/wife, everything else will flow in the direction you are aiming. You might not hit winners every time but when you do, nothing is more fun than sharing the success with your business partner.
Today, I can honestly say we are not only a fab husband-wife team, we are best friends. It’s a privilege to be married and work together. Both of us know what the other is going through, which makes understanding each other a breeze. I don’t have to pretend to be in his shoes. I already know, and it’s never too late to learn.
I wanted to write because I love writing, among many other things I have a passion for doing. But as I sit here and think, and think a little more, nothing comes to mind. So many topics to think about, it’s overwhelming. “What am I going to write about?” I asked myself. I do art and design, run a business (with my husband), play in sports leagues; raise a teenager, run food and design blogs, Instagram accounts, Facebook – you name it. So how is it that I find it hard to pick something to write about? I want to be a part of something that can make a difference, something that can inspire women around the world. Then after two days of starring at a blank paper, inspiration found me. After all, I’m not doing it all alone so what constantly popped in my mind that day was to write about us. Yes, my husband and I, as business partners, a married couple and full time parents who happen to run the same business. Every day. Brilliant.
Author: Sigal Sasson
Bio: Co-founder of Rug Art International, rug designer, world traveler, artist, decorator. Passionate about Interior design. Along with business partner/husband Vidal, they turned RUG ART into one of the premier to the trade rug companies in the industry.
Link to social media or website: https://www.instagram.com/sigalsasson/