"You always start a business or create a partnership with that wonderful sense of optimism and invulnerability, and that's always an illusion, whether you're a spouse or not," says Craig Aronoff, co-chairman of the Family Business Consulting Group and founder-director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.
"The problem in the case of a spouse is the potential emotional boomerang.
Usually what happens is, if it doesn't work out, the employee leaves and you never see them again," notes Aronoff
"In some ways, the problems are more on the side of what it does to the marital relationship than what it does to the business relationship," says Aronoff
suggests you start by taking a hard look at your own motivation for wanting to work together.
"Going in, you've got to make sure you're not following the let's-have-a-baby-to-save-our-marriage model," he
"Going into business together to try and save a marriage is, generally speaking, a terrible idea.
If you don't have a strong relationship going in, don't do it.
It's that simple.
It's not therapeutic, it is very stressful, it adds complexity and difficulty to the relationship."
says it's foolhardy to throw in together just because one of you needs a job or your business needs another employee; the risks far outweigh the rewards.
says that's a good way to try on your "business hats."
"Be aware of what hat you're wearing when," he