Book Excerpt: From partners at home to partners in business


The norms have always dictated that working with your partner is a strict no-no. While some people say it leads to unprofessional culture, others believe it is a sure shot recipe to relationship disasters. It is a widely perceived notion that the boundaries of the home and work front should not be broken. However, while the Indian entrepreneur is out to defy ‘job’ trends, he/she also appears to be ready to break social boundaries. The attitude explains a radical, rational and reasonable evolution of the mentality of the new entrepreneurial generation.

With increase of both partners entering the working space, it has already become financially and practically viable to accommodate such a lifestyle where work-home balance is getting to be an everyday routine.

Related reading: Six ways couples can achieve work-life balance

Another commonly observed phenomenon in the start-up culture is that generally people well known to each other, as friends or long-term colleagues, partner to found the enterprise. While this has grown as a convenient and effective pattern, in today’s world of fierce competition and lucid attractions a lot of compatibility issues and differences of opinion arise at fundamental levels that cause the business to suffer consequently. It doesn’t take rocket science then, to conclude that compatibility and trust are two very important qualities. A simple look around would be happy to serve the answer in a silver platter about who is your most reliable and compatible companion in life!

Many start-ups today have been ideated and built by couples who either studied together, have been married or have dwelled in the same environment. Having known each other for a considerably long time and watched each other through different circumstances, gives a certain advantage of understanding and acceptance. As a result, such partnerships come with a greater degree of acceptance and support.

Diving into a start-up is scary and nerve-wracking. There are responsibilities at every stage and risks involved of considerable scale not only at personal level but also pertaining to everyone associated with the organisation. More often than not, even the most experienced people in their conventional job careers find themselves vulnerable. It is in times like these when a confidante who can understand and support you unconditionally is needed.

When great minds come together to produce something built on conjoined dreams, the result is eminently successful, lucrative and deeply satisfying. However, this does ask for certain levels of insight in the partners. Couples who have made it successfully as professional partners hold an acknowledged space for respect and acceptance for each other in their lives, both at work and home. Describing it as a perfect exercise of balance between individuality and teamwork, most partners say their key mantra of success is allowing their individuality to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

With an attitude to keep individual spaces intact in the intense commitment scenario as partners, one can understand why it becomes important not to get overwhelmed or carried away in an environment where couples probably end up spending 24 hours with each other. To remain strong, supportive, and complementary, especially in testing times, is truly what keeps the dynamics of such relationships healthy and productive.

In relationships where couples partner up in building their own enterprise, an equation of deep thoughtfulness for each other’s situation builds naturally. For people working in different environments, it often becomes difficult for the counterparts to understand and appreciate each other’s circumstances of both achievements and challenges.

Related reading: A symphony in love

However, couples who are starting up together know exactly what the stress of risks and decisions is, understand the excitement of each big and small milestone accomplished on the way and can share the emotions more intently. It is also very natural then, that circumstances at home also become a lot more compatible and equal.

Sharing of responsibilities, time and opportunities is far more appreciable when the principal emotions are conjoined. This is what gets many relationships to fruit stronger after coming together on a professional front. Bursting the myth of risks involved with such association, the rising trend is dismissing the traditionally declared threats of mixing work and home. Some of the most popular start-ups in the country are examples of what is a path breaking benchmark of success of couples who have supported each other on the precarious and challenging journey of starting your own enterprise.

Why my work spouses make my marriage better

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