Love birds at home, Business partners in the office

First published: 14 May 2016

I always get inquisitive when I meet working mothers. It’s my favourite discussion topic now. Am always interested in how they manage to work and at the same time attend to the needs of their family in the current economy where it’s necessary for both to work to take care of the needs of the family. It’s always interesting what you find out from these interactions.

Kids of today, they see and talk about everything.

Some weeks back at work I had a meeting with a lady who works at a well-known bank in Ghana. After our business discussions, we shifted to the topic of working mothers and their families. She was actually tired of the bank since it left her with limited family time and was currently looking out for more flexible opportunities that would guarantee her closing at 5pm to get home in time to attend to the kids. She mentioned that one time at school, her daughter’s teacher gave them a task to complete at home with the assistance of their parents. Guess what her daughter told her teacher, “My mother might not get the time to help me.” She felt so bad when the teacher informed her of this. I hear these stories of kids unintentionally telling on their parents and I always thought they were just made – up or exaggerated stories. Kids of today, they see and talk about everything. A colleague’s son told him one day, “You and mummy too, you like fighting too much!” That was just by the way. Now back to my conversation with this working mother.

As interested as I am in discovering flexible working conditions and solutions for mothers, I decided to inquire further of her future plans. Her response was to find another job. I suggested she started something on the side or with her husband because the job market had limited vacancies currently. It was at this point that she mentioned that her husband already had a running business. “So why not put resources together to grow the business, plus you get the flexible working environment you are dreaming of?”

Similar to the ‘separate legal entity’ business concept why can’t spouses put aside their marital issues to work professionally together?

I thought it was a good idea but to her it was a bad idea. The only way in her opinion was to have offices far away from each other. Others would kill for this opportunity. I (notice the emphasis) would kill for this. So why was it so difficult for her to have a working relationship with her partner?

If the argument is about diversification then am game, but if it’s about personal differences then I really need to be convinced. Similar to the ‘separate legal entity’ business concept why can’t spouses put aside their marital issues to work professionally together? After business hours they can pick up their love quarrels from where they left off? Just a thought…It’s a matter of personal choice. One size does not fit all anyways.

I have noticed a few married couples who work together to manage their own business. Well-known ones such as Albert and Comfort Ocran, Echo House etc. I recently came across a fine gentleman who also works part-time with his wife and part-time on his own business. I truly admire them and they are a source of inspiration and motivation for myself.

The question for today is would you start a business with your partner? What are your reasons for doing so or not doing so?

Share your thoughts.

Would love to hear from couples running a business together, how have they managed to work successfully together?

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