Can and Should We Work Together


Can and Should We Work Together

Ask Eddie

The age-old question many married couples ask themselves is, can or should we work together? It’s a big question and I would like to delve into this subject today.

There are three areas we all should ask of ourselves and make no mistake this subject requires a little introspection. Commercial viability, Individual Skill Sets, and lastly, Ego… 

Men, let’s say for the moment that your wife has launched a business, one that has since become profitable. You are working outside in your day job and doing quite well for yourself. Your skillset sees you contributing well to the company you work for and their business is successful as a result. 

In the meantime your wife is becoming consumed with the day-to-day running of the business, leaving little time to actually work on it, rather than in it. As a result on paper, the numbers flatten out as the growth of the business stalls. She can only do so much… and could be getting unfairly judged. 

What if for a moment you considered walking away from your role building someone else’s dream and joining her? Seriously, have you ever considered it? Have you ever had that conversation? Could it give you the flexibility you have craved for but never afforded yourself the opportunity? It could well be there staring you right in the face.

Yes sure you may know nothing about her business, so what! That’s what her job is. But you have your own skill set, that with a little retraining can be adapted to be a major contributor. 

Let’s use Johnno and Barry for instance. They are both plumbers, in fact, they did their apprenticeship together in the early 80s. Both their wives own businesses and work in colder climates, so their bodies are getting a little weary at 57. They have just learned the retirement age has just been lifted to 67. That’s ten more years. 

Barry has one bad knee and Johnno’s hands are lacking the mobility he once had. It’s not realistic to think they can stick it out for another ten years. Johnno however, is very well organised and can easily do a lot of the running around that his wife Linda struggles with.  Maybe he could even chip in with some of the duties around the house. 

No more 6.00 am starts on those cold mornings is quite an attractive prospect if nothing else. Maybe even the opportunity to slip in that round of golf once a week, which normally wouldn’t happen. 

One day after a long day he sits down with Linda and asks her, “What if I joined you in the business you have created? It’s your business, my dear, You know what you’re doing, it’s already profitable. I can do this and that and you can train me on other areas you need help with to keep you out front. Would that work?”   

Barry, like Johnno, his wife has a business in a similar position. In fact, it is a little more profitable, but his wife Kate is wondering if she can continue without help.  

One day she approaches Barry after he limps in after a long day and heads for the shower.  Why don’t you leave your job and work with me Sweetheart, I just can’t stand watching you in pain. Imagine what it will be like and the freedom without the early starts. “What would the boys say, Kate, working for my wife, na that’s not for me”. So what’s stopping Brian from having that conversation with Kate? 

And that brings me to my last point. Ego… And that my friends is what stands in the way of a lot of men today, fact. 

Fast forward 5 years and Johnno bumps into Barry on the Golf Course. Barry could be looking better as he had continued to try and make it work on the tools a little longer. “What are you up to mate, I haven’t seen you around for a while”. Yes, Linda and I teamed up a few years back and built her business. In fact we just sold it and we are heading north to retire at the end of the month. 

As Johnno walks away Barry remembers that conversation with Kate way back when…Hmmm, I wonder. 

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