The woman, the myth, the legend — and also the backbone of all of my business and personal ventures.
My best investment yet, Dominique Osborn shares her insights below about what it takes to work together in Real Estate with your significant other.
Hey Everyone! Dominique here!
After Engelo’s recent BiggerPockets Podcast episode, he received a LOT of questions. Though many were about business strategies, there were a surprising amount of questions about relationship issues. Yes, you heard me correctly, relationships! Engelo threw that one my way. I’ll do my best to share our recipe, though I’m sure you will eventually find one with the right ingredients that work best for you.
The scenario: I’m sitting at my desk, trying to figure out a solution to a problem, when suddenly I hear papers flying through the air and Engelo approaching, mumbling and grumbling.
Related: Tips for Working With Your Spouse in Your Real Estate Business
Here’s the question: How are you able to be in business with your significant other… and not rip each other’s heads off? Below are some helpful tips that work for us — and that may be helpful for you, as well.
8 Tips to Help You Work Better With Your Significant Other
1. Establish Boundaries
It can be difficult not to find fault with someone you work and live with, so try to initiate boundaries, and keep personal issues in the house — and business issues in the office.
2. Maintain Respect at All Times
When working together, you must always maintain a level of respect. If you’re both committed to mutual respect, you’ll create a foundation of trust and will be less likely to take a differing opinion as a personal attack or source of conflict.
3. See Your Significant Other As Your Teammate
Try to keep in mind that you’re on the same team, fighting for the same things! Sometimes, it’s easy to take out small frustrations and everyday work issues on those closest to us. Remember that you and your significant other are working towards shared goals, and that you’ll both benefit from synergistic, team-focused efforts.
4. Play to the Strengths Each Party Brings to the Equation
Balance out each other’s talents to your advantage. In our relationship, Engelo is the creative, “get out there and make it happen” type, while I am the organized, strategic type.
Recognize, respect, and appreciate the differences; make them work for you!
5. Get on the Same Page
Take time to sit down and discuss what you both envision for the company. This will help you remain on the same page and remind one another that you’re working towards the same goals.
6. Don’t Take Things Personally
Take time to understand your partner’s work habits and tendencies. Once you have figured them out, it will be easier for you not to take everything said to heart — and it will free you from worrying about how your partner does or says something.
7. Support Each Other
Engelo does not have an “off” switch. He’s 100% entrepreneur minded — always “on.”
Since day one, I have promised myself to always support his vision, but also try to let him know if it might be time to get a little rest and recreation. It may be hard to always understand one another and each other’s ways, but to remain fully committed in both life and business, you’ll need to support your partner and always give them benefit of the doubt that what they are doing isn’t just for themselves — it’s for you both as a team.
8. Try to Laugh Off the Little Arguments
… because you’re definitely going to have some!
Example: When Ohio Cashflow was in its early infant stage, we were trying to keep expenses at a minimum, so we decided to build the company website ourselves. We spent many late nights composing the body of the website and configuring the colors and layout.
Related: 6 Tips for Keeping Your Business on Track While Working From Home
There was one such late night, when we were both in our usual stance: heads bent closely over Engelo’s small MacBook Air. We were trying to make a line in the header perfectly straight. After looking at this line for close to 30 minutes — with Engelo asking me constantly, “Do you think it’s straight?” and “I think it’s a little tilted, what do you think?” — I started seeing 3 lines (I ASSURE you, they were all quite STRAIGHT!), and I absolutely lost it. After yelling something about the lines being straight enough for any psycho perfectionist, I exited from the office to get some much needed fresh air… and regain my sanity!
Engelo and I are both very hard workers; we give our best to every task and every project. That may help us work together more than anything else, as we don’t have to second-guess ourselves, whether there are stressful moments or happy moments.
Ultimately, we are in this together and moving in the same direction. We also realize that we are not machines, but people with individual talents, strengths, and ways of approaching goals. And, of course, people who at the end of the day go home to relax together!
Have you ever worked with your significant other? If not, would you consider doing so? What would you add to my list?
Leave me a comment below!
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