20 Jun Guest Blog – How To Work With Your Partner Without Killing Each Other
Ring, ring… ring, ring!
Yep, there goes that damn phone again.
It’s 7pm on a Thursday night and you’ve both just sat down at the dinner table with the kids.
You give him that familiar death stare. The customer can wait.
The reality is, your trade business is the fifth family member. You both spend way too much time wrangling work tasks outside of work hours. You barely spend any time together without the conversation turning to work.
Mr Tradie is doing his best to financially support your family. He wants you to be proud. As Mrs Tradie, you just want him to be present. Goddamnit.
The daily grind is sucking the life out of your relationship.
Can your trade business and life co-exist? Yes!
Angela Smith, co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, offers some suggestions:
Never bring work home
Work-related stuff should be left at the office. If your office is at home, keep it strictly in business hours. You’re right. Home should be a sanctuary.
When the topic of work comes up outside of these hours, it’s okay to politely say to the other, “Can we talk about this tomorrow during business hours?”
And, next time a customer rings at 7pm, ignore it!
The customer can wait until the morning, you’re not going to head to their house at 7pm to complete the work anyway! Politely educate your customers to call during your business hours. If this upsets them, they’re not the kind of customer you want anyway.
It can be difficult to adjust to these rules when you’re first starting. Give it time! Your family and relationship with your partner will thank you!
Set specific roles for each other
Does the phone ring and you and your partner turn to each other and say, “Do you want to answer it?” Or your partner has asked for a report that you had no idea he even expected you to do?
Setting roles and tasks provides clarity and contribute to better productivity.
Play to each other’s strengths. There’s no point in your partner answering the phones if his phone manner is gruff, potentially scaring well-meaning customers away. And why quote if you don’t understand the technicalities behind each job.
Learn to say ‘no’
No-one wants to ‘give away’ work. But, if you’re an established business, your finances are strong, and you have a decent workload ahead of you, consider saying no to certain jobs!
Reschedule jobs with difficult customers, customers who don’t pay on time, ones with low-profit margin, and ones that eat into your personal time together.
Discuss the future
Between business and home life, you both work so hard. If you have an understanding of what the future holds and why you’re working so hard, you will be re-energised and excited about life together.
Until you reach your goals by working hard, keep the horizon exciting! Reward yourselves with concert tickets, date nights, and holidays. The anticipation for fun events and experiences you can share together will keep you motivated.
At the end of the day, nothing is worth more than your relationship with your partner and family. You’ve got this.
Angela and Andy Smith are co-founders of Lifestyle Tradie, a coaching and education authority for trade business owners. They teach tried-and-tested strategies that have led to success in their own award-winning trade business, Dr DRiP Plumbing. Meet Angela and Andy at our FREE Next Level Tradie live event near you. TradieWives, CLICK HERE to claim your free ticket for our August & September event dates.