A journalist just asked me: “What is the one thing you didn’t envisage when you set out to work your partner?”
The answer was easy: The Intoxication of it all.
Now, I love working alongside my BFF and lover. Every day I get to experience him at his best.
Lots of people each morning bid farewell to their love, who goes off to his place of work and gives his time, attention and perhaps passion to that thing.
I, on the other hand, get to go to work with my husband and witness his passion before my eyes.
I love watching him with that fire in his belly. That glint in his eye. That thing that he absolutely hot-diggity-dog loves to do.
On really good days, the thrill of it feels a little like being drunk.
But Intoxication has two sides, doesn’t it?
#1 The I’ve-just-had-a-couple-of-glasses-of-wine tipsy buzz;
#2 The spewing-in-the-gutter kind of drunk.
One of them is sweet. It feels good, kind of tingly, relaxing, magical at the moment.
The other is one that leaves you, quite literally, blind. You can’t remember, or your body is so horribly skewed by this, that it needs to vomit. You can’t talk to anyone, and there is regret that comes with being in that space.
One of them is good.
One of them is not so good. Actually, it’s downright horrible.
The level of intoxication I get from working alongside Ed is the #1.
But in the early days, often I felt like it was #2.
I’m a passionate, driven woman (and a Scorpio). And I’m married to a passionate, driven man (Aries). Before we had created ourselves some frameworks, this dynamic could cause a lot of tension.
We actually used to call it ‘DYNAMIC TENSION’.
We would be so all-consumed in driving the business forward, of coming up with new relationships to pursue, of new products to offer, and new ways to market it all, that we forgot there were other things to talk about.
It was absolutely intoxicating. And for a while, it was OK … You know, like it was in your 20s 😉
You can keep going because you have the energy.
Then things happen…
The business grows past you….
You decide you want to change your direction…
You have a child(ren)…
You get sick or burnt out.
YOU REALISE THERE HAS TO BE ANOTHER WAY.
In walks sanity, hopefully bringing with it some new friends that can support you to avoid intoxication.
Business with you other-half is like marriage: It’s not hard, but it does take effort.
Through my own experience, through watching hundreds of others use this stuff in their own lives, and through conversations on Boardrooms and Bedrooms, here are the absolutely necessary 5 things you need to get right in order to avoid intoxication.
If there is one thing that has stood out through our interview series on Boardrooms and Bedrooms so far, it is this. Get intimate with each other’s strengths and gains, then delineate the roles and responsibilities inside the business dependent on these. If you want to have a LARGE impact on your business, you need to stop doing things you suck at or don’t like.
Here’s the bottom line: Fights get dirty because you get angry. You misunderstand. You mishear. You hear a certain tone. You react. The end result is World War III (whether that be yelling, slamming doors, cold-shouldering or ‘it doesn’t matter’ing). You need to master the Fight Diffuser framework and your partner’s Communication Highway to get real change here. Both involve a step up in consciousness, but will save loads of stress, anger and lost productivity (not to mention an empty bed at night).
How often do you talk about work over meals? In the bedroom? At other random, inappropriate times? And how annoying is it when your other half asks you to do something, then in their desire to rush, goes and does it themselves? It leaves you irritated, feeling undervalued and undermined.
You need boundaries on when and where it’s OK to talk work and who’s doing what by when. And what kind of feedback you want from your mate in return.
When you’re both at your best, you’re like Super Heroes. Your power to make things happen is beyond that of any one individual — providing you are working off the same sheet of music.
To focus on the right things, you need to make sure that you are fully aligned with what the right things are. To increase your business’ capacity, you need to Same-Page it and implement a Team Growth PlanTM.
Recently our four-year-old was driving me nuts. He was yelling at me and absolutely losing his bundle. He was sad and angry. Then, within the space of a breath, he’d moved on. Later, I asked him, “Hey mate, you know how earlier you were so angry and then you weren’t. How do you do that?” He said, “I just made a decision not to be.” It’s. That. Simple. Every reaction in your business and life is a decision. A choice. There is always another way.
If the business is the bad type of intoxication right now, then find another way.
Are you a woman who could you use some support getting back into or stepping up in business? Email Bec here with ‘Empower Me’ in the subject line and let me know a little about you and how I can help you to own your strengths and grow your business.
Rebecca is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Institute for Couples in Business. Bec is also trusty wife to husband and business partner Ed, and mum to Samuel, 4, and Charles, 2. For the past seven years Bec has been working with business owners, and her Super Powers include making complex problems simple, creating strong connections, and motivating teams by building kick-arse culture. Bec is also author of #1 best-seller Lead-The-Ship and hosts popular podcast Boardrooms & Bedrooms.