What’s the number one thing you should do when you bring your spouse in to work with you? What are the best things that you can do with your partner to have a great marriage and a great business partnership? How can a positive weekly meeting save your marriage and your practice?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about what married entrepreneurs get wrong (and can get right) with Robert and Kay Lee Fukui.
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Meet Robert and Kay Lee Fukui
Robert and Kay Lee Fukui are the co-founders of i61, inc., a business consulting company. They assist married entrepreneurs in creating better work/life balance by structuring the business to scale while giving precious time back to the owner to invest in their marriage.
Together, they have developed an innovative consulting program, Power Couples by DesignTM, which equips the married entrepreneur to build a Thriving Marriage AND Prosperous Business. They have also authored the book, Tandem: The married entrepreneurs’ guide for greater work-life balance.
FREEBIE: Free workbook to help the married entrepreneur lead a better-balanced life!
In this Podcast
- What do married entrepreneurs get wrong when working together?
- A common struggle in partnerships
- How to have a good flow with your work partner
- Navigating business and family
- Robert and Kay Lee’s 3 Pillars of Growth
What do married entrepreneurs get wrong when working together?
One of the main things that Robert and Kay Lee see other married entrepreneurs doing wrong is that they don’t match their individual strengths with the tasks that they do together in the business. Don’t bring a spouse in to work with you to fill a gap.
When you are working outside of your standard comfort zone or zone of excellence, there can often be tension and stress, especially when your partner is in a similar situation and you both have to figure out the business together from this less-than-ideal arrangement.
[When] they bring that spouse in just to fill a need but it may not match their skillset, and so what happens is that spouse that comes into the business is just not really into the business because they don’t really like what they’re doing, they’re just doing it out of obligation. (Robert Fukui)
It can quickly escalate into a hot mess if one of the partners is doing something for the other that they are not great at for the sake of the business. This is even true for business partners that aren’t married.
A common struggle in partnerships
A lot of partnerships, whether in marriage or in business or both, can struggle with coming to an agreement.
When you can’t come to an agreement you get stuck, and especially when you’re working in a business together, you can’t move the business forward as well as you’d like to because there are certain aspects of decision making that you just can’t come to an agreement on. (Robert Fukui)
The ability to agree on something is a vital aspect that married professional couples need to get well-oiled if they want to keep their business moving forward (as well as their strong communication style).
How to have a good flow with your work partner
- Appreciate each other’s gifts
- Find the sweet spot on how you both make decisions
- Honor each other’s requests for needing time to decide instead of rushing decisions
- Hear each other’s sides of the story and perspective on a challenge
Navigating business and family
When you work with your spouse, it can help a lot to have a system or a structure around how you discuss work topics so that you won’t be arguing over spreadsheets before bed.
Robert and Kay Lee use a system where they have weekly meetings on Monday afternoons to discuss everything related to the business. Unless something is urgent, they will save what they have to say until then.
We usually start [the meetings] by giving each other affirmations. We say something that we’re thankful for, [or] grateful for our partner and that’s huge because sometimes that’ll make your day right there, the whole week, having your spouse say something great about you. (Kay Lee Fukui)
They also use these meetings to plan out their weeks or months and explain to each other if they’ll be busy or not, so that expectations can be set accordingly to avoid future disagreements or misunderstandings.
Robert and Kay Lee’s 3 Pillars of Growth
- Time effort
- Money invested
- Measuring the performance of the time effort and money invested
Robert and Kay Lee’s advice to private practitioners
Kay Lee advises that you work with your strengths and hire someone else to do the rest! Robert recommends that you don’t accept the status quo. Make waves by doing what you want to, so sit down in some silence and find out what that is.
Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:
- Trust me, don’t waste any more of your time, and try TherapyNotes.
- Visit Sparrow Search Services and use promo code JOE to receive a discount!
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
Check out these additional resources:
- Apply to work with us — a decision-making matrix for your next steps
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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