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How to Work with Family and Not Kill Each Other

How to Work with Family and Not Kill Each Other :)

In June, Sunny and I celebrated completing 24 years of married life. While that is an accomplishment and thank you everyone in advance for your well wishes, what’s more impactful is that for 18 years of that time we have worked with each other full-time. On top of that, since 2020, we have worked together, in the same business, in the same house, all day long for the past three years. I’m not going to lie and say that it was easy. It clearly wasn’t, and yes, there were days I thought about getting a shovel to hide the body. Having said that, we have actually learned quite a lot over these past years that I wanted to share with all of you.  

Many in the channel work with their spouses. I get it, there are days … you get what I mean. However, it’s truly amazing how we have learned to collaborate and as my ‘Sunster’ says 11x our combined strength. Whether you work with your spouse or not, I think there are many helpful tools that we can all use to collaborate better in our relationships. Here are a few items we use to help us: 

  1. SPACE 
  2. Value our unique abilities 
  3. Practice gratitude 
  4. Appreciate the human being 
  5. Assume good intent 
  6. Remember we both are working for the same greater good 
  7. Be affectionate  

We are far from being perfect, BUT what we definitely do, is work hard at our relationship. It’s a collaborative effort. We understand that, in life, it will never be a 50-50 relationship. The scales will always tilt, one way or the other. And that’s absolutely alright as long as we agree that the other will support the load as needed. It can’t always be tilted to one side, like a car, eventually the tires will deflate. We work on balancing ourselves and understanding what each other’s unique abilities are, so we do the things we each enjoy doing. Most importantly, we then give the other person space. 

This same advice can be used for a good friend, or a family member. Many MSPs have someone they trust that is working with them in the organization. Go through numbers 1-7 and you will see that they all apply (even being affectionate can be a positive uplifting gesture). In fact, I often feel, most leaders can apply this to their leadership team. Whether you run an MSP, family-owned business, or are thinking of collaborating with friends, these simple tools will help you build trust, collaborate, and move organizations forward with love and respect. 

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