Business With Bae: 8 Couples Share The Keys To Building An Empire Together

Business With Bae: 8 Couples Share The Keys To Building An Empire Together

Let's take it to an infamous line in Jay-z and Beyonce classic '03 Bonnie & Clyde:

"Cause mami's a rider and I'm a roller

Put us together – how they gon' stop both us?

Whatever she lacks, I'm right over her shoulder

When I'm off track, mami is keepin' me focused"

What does it take to put the power in the term "power couple"? How do you build an empire with the one you love?

We chatted with eight couples to learn the secrets to successfully running a business with a partner. While there may be technical logistics that should be considered before entering a relationship with your significant other, not every arrangement is a recipe for disaster. These couples share how they manage their business while working together, strategies for overcoming common challenges, and the best (and often underappreciated) aspects of working with the one you love.

Note: responses have been condensed for brevity and clarity.

Have Clear Roles & Responsibilities

Courtesy of Jeff & Kalisa

Jeff Belizaire & Kalisa Marie, Co-founders of The Runaway Experience, Engaged (together 5.5 years, in business 4.5 years)

"In any start-up, you're wearing multiple hats and it feels, at times, like everyone is doing everything. When your co-founder is your significant other, it's important to have clearly defined roles. Not only to make sure you have all your bases covered, but more importantly, to avoid micromanaging each other or stepping on each other's toes. Ideally, you'll have your area of expertise and they will have theirs. You'll touch base to provide updates and collaborate, but there's mutual trust that the other has things under control as you divide and conquer.

"Jeff and I are very different. We have different working styles, sets of skills, and ways of communicating. Going in, we knew this was a blessing because we were bringing value to very different aspects of the business. Navigating those differences has been one of the biggest challenges. We have to consistently step outside ourselves to see and understand the other person's perspective. While we're both very strong-willed, we've learned, and are still learning, how to speak each other's language. Ultimately, we know that we would not be where we are if it weren't for the other person, and for the differences that have pushed us as individuals and the business to grow.

"It's easy for a new business to be all-consuming, but it's critical that you don't lose sight of your relationship. Schedule dates as deliberately as you schedule conference calls. Don't let "lack of time" be the reason you lose site of each other. Rather, come up with creative ways to spend non-working time together. What would normally be a mundane activity — like working out or grocery shopping — could stand in as fun quality time, if that's all you've got for the time being."

Featured image courtesy of Kevin & Melissa Fredericks

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Recently, while in an interview, someone asked me if I think that men and women can be just friends. I didn’t even hesitate to answer; my response was immediate, “Absolutely.” What I followed that up with is what intrigued them — “Life has taught me that not a lot of male/female dynamics are ‘platonic,’ though.” When they asked me to expound, the interview ended up taking a whole ‘nother turn.