Partners in a trade business? Do THIS to prevent butting heads

The pandemic has put pressure on many relationships. Physical distancing rules have seen couples spending long periods of time together, often in close quarters. If you work together, the intensity would have been through the roof. With lockdown restrictions easing, are you still butting heads?


In this article, we’ll unpack how to survive this pressure-cooker situation and explore how to create a happy and harmonious work and home relationship. As a husband-and-wife trade business team, Lifestyle Tradie’s Andy and Ange have learnt the hard way. Here’s what they know:

You’re now a “we” not a “me” at work

For many husband-and-wife trade business owners, working together is a huge adjustment. The magic happens when you and your partner bring your ‘best selves’ together to form a team at work by uniting your expectations through clarity and opportunity.

1. Clarity

You and your partner should be on the same page to make this business work — and this is no mean feat, given you’ve come together as business partners, often by default. Having a clear and agreed understanding of your long-term vision for the business involves the following:

  • Having regular meetings (not at the dinner table!)
  • Discussing financial figures and forward forecast
  • Defining your roles based on your strengths (and weaknesses)
  • Communicating your roles to your employees
  • Determining consistent home and work boundaries
  • Backing each other up in front of employees (discussing it later).

2.  Opportunity

Through clarity, opportunity will shine through. For example, one of our Lifestyle Tradie members recently shared with us that she was having trouble implementing new ways of doing things in the workplace because her tradie husband wasn’t on the same page. It took some honest conversations to achieve clarity on their goals, visions and plans. As a result, more opportunities have opened up to them.

Connectivity is key at home

Encouraging connectivity at home will help build connectivity at work – and vice versa. Often, it’s the blurring of boundaries that creates strain and tension. If your employees or the kids see the two of you as disconnected, it’s time to do a reality check because your eternity is more important.

1. Reality check

This is about getting real about where the lines are blurred and respectfully working through the solutions. For example, there’s a hypothetical situation:

Let’s say there’s a question you really wanted to ask your partner at work but you didn’t get the chance. Find a moment in your home time to pull them to the side and simply ask them, “Do you mind if I ask you a question about work?” If they say ‘yes’ then great, ask them! If they say ‘no’ then respect that and wait until the next day at work.

2. Eternity

Ultimately, you’re in this relationship for the long haul. If your work and home life harmony isn’t working, don’t be afraid to reconsider your work partnership. Sometimes, even with the best intentions, it doesn’t work out. What you have together in your home matters most, agreed?

What’s next?

  1. Want to know more about Lifestyle Tradie membership? Book a Game Plan Call with Andy to see if it’s a good fit for you. 
  2. Download our free Survive the Sh*t Storm resources
  3. Join our free Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook group to learn how to set team targets using your business’s break-even point.