Straight Talk: Boss or Boo?

As many of you may know by now, I am a pretty successful author, but what might be news is the fact that I also have a production company that I own with my husband, and we’re putting on our first production next month.   We decided to turn my first novel, Secret Society, into […]

As many of you may know by now, I am a pretty successful

author, but what might be news is the fact that I also have a production

company that I own with my husband, and we’re putting on our first production

next month.


We decided to turn my first novel, Secret Society, into a stage play. In doing so, over the past seven

months we’ve been working together more closely and more frequently than we’ve

worked together in our entire 12-year relationship.


While we both feel enthusiastic about this venture, there

are times that we are ready to kill each other—true story. Okay, well not to

that extent. But there have been plenty “I quit” and plenty “I can’t work with

you” arguments.


Throughout it the question, “is it possible to work for or

with your mate?” has come up numerous times. But as my husband and I have grown

through the process we’ve found ways to make it work.


The cardinal rule in being able to work for or with your

mate is keeping your personal relationship separate from your professional one.

In other words, and I’m sure you heard this before, don’t mix business with

pleasure – and I don’t mean this in a sexual way.


In fact, if we were talking about sex then there would be no

need for this article. If couples had a hard time keeping sex out of the office,

then I can almost assure you their working relationship would be just fine. No,

I mean it in an emotional way.


For example, if you and your mate have an argument about

something personal, don’t get mad and throw the laptop he or she uses to close

deals out of the window. Don’t show up at a business meeting with steam coming

out of your head, rolling your eyes and sucking your teeth every time your mate

speaks. And in the event you are the boss, don’t fire your mate just because

you two had a bad week at home.


As hard as it may be, you must keep the problems you are

having at home at home, and away from the office. No different from when you

work for a complete stranger. The only difference is when it’s your mate you

work for or with, you may feel like this rule is breakable. It’s not!


Another way of making a dual partnership work is by

remembering that you and your mate have each other’s best interest at heart.

Therefore, when your mate suggests something that you may not understand or

believe will work, or when your mate disagrees with you on something that you

feel strongly about, don’t automatically shut them down or write them off

because that’s “just” wifey or boo-boo talking.


Take time to hear them out and fully consider their opinions,

because at the end of the day they aren’t just looking out for the business but

they’re looking out for you—something you may not find in working with

strangers or mere associates. Keep in mind that your mate will offer suggestions

that may benefit you personally and professionally

so be more open to what he or she has to say. And if it turns out that it

wasn’t the best idea, at least you can rest assure knowing that your mate’s

intentions were good.


The act of respecting each other’s job titles could probably

be number one in finding ways to make working for or with your mate doable.

It’s definitely a major component. You see, job titles are just that—titles.

They’re labels but they don’t define who you are or what you can do. A

secretary may sound like a mediocre position, but in reality it is the

secretary that does the bulk of the work. The same goes for a paralegal in a

law firm.


So, it’s important for you to respect the job title no

matter what it is, because without it where would your business be? How would

your office get run without your secretary? In fact, in many cases, the boss

has the least amount of duties.


It reminds me of this quote I read once. It said: “Do you

want to speak to the man in charge or to the woman who knows what’s going on?”


I found that quote interesting. It made so much sense to me,

and I think about it a lot when I’m working with my husband. No offense to him

or any other man, but in my experience, it’s the women who are the backbones of

their husbands businesses and companies—despite the fact that they may not be

the boss.


Another important aspect of having a working relationship

with your significant other is balancing the time you spend working and the

time you spend not working. What I mean by this is, when you work with your

mate it is easy to get caught up in making your relationship a working one

non-stop. For instance, after hours when everybody is settled in bed and you

notice your mate coming on to you, the last thing you want to do is start

asking questions like, “Did you send that email? When are we going to closing?

Did you order the supplies? How much was the invoice? Blah blah blah…”


Working with your mate does not warrant you the right to be

all business all the time. You have to create balance. You should put as much

time and energy into your personal relationship as you put into you business

relationship and vice versa. All work and no play can be breeding grounds for a

separation or divorce. So know when to trade the business partner for the other

partner—whether that be sex partner, life partner or spades partner. You know

where I’m going.


Finally, celebrate! Having your own business or company,

being self-employed or entrepreneurial is stressful enough without partnering

with your companion. But having your mate as your boss or your partner adds

more stress, because you have more things to be mad at that person about than

you would if he or she was just your business partner.


With all the stress and frustration that is likely to arise,

it is important to take time out to celebrate the good. Any time a goal is

achieved, an amount of success is earned, or there is an accomplishment within

your business, make sure you and your partner celebrate that moment. Go out for

drinks. Toast to the good news. Enjoy and savor that moment, because it makes

all the arguing, stress, trials and tribulations worth it.


There’s no better feeling than making it to the top with the

one person you love and trust the most, and it’s one destination that’s worth

the bumpy ride.


Good luck!


Miasha is the author

of Don’t Make Him Dinner, Make Him Rich! How to Be the Superwoman of Today,

coming soon. She is also author of fiction bestsellers Diary of a Mistress,

Mommy’s Angel, Sistah for Sale,

and Never Enough all available in bookstores and online nationwide. For more

information or to hear Miasha address your comments, go to her website and click on Miasha TV-Real