Couples in business and life
Work places are notoriously political and difficult environments for many. Conflicting agendas and petty rivalries, as well as the pressure of work, can soon mount up to create an awkward working atmosphere, but at least you get to go home at the end of the day to enjoy the company of your family.
But what if your family are also your colleagues and you and your partner are together both professionally and in your private life? Well the good news is that, just as divorce rates in the UK are falling, there’s strong evidence to show that many successful business relationships are enjoyed by married couples.
This may be because moist successful marriages consist of two people with a similar outlook on life as well as different, but complimentary, strengths. Or perhaps it’s because both are so heavily invested in making a business successful for the sake of their family that they let no obstacles get in their way. To give some examples, here are three couples who have made a real go of it.
Beyonce and Jay-Z
One of the music industry’s highest profile couples, Beyonce and Jay-Z first collaborated on Crazy in Love way back in 2003. Since then they’ve worked together many times even going on the joint global “On The Run” tour – especially handy as they could take their two children with them too. Despite some well publicised ups and downs the partnership today seems as strong as ever as they are working on a joint album due for release later this year.
Bill and Melinda Gates
Now he’s stepped down from the day to day running of Microsoft the tech billionaire is involved in partnering his wife in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Its aim is to reduce poverty and improve healthcare in the developing world as well as to promote equality of opportunity in America. The couple put the success of their working relationship down to enjoying plenty of family time together, as well as spending parts of the year apart.
Jean and Brad Scott
In her book The Frugal Gambler Jean Scott explains how she and her husband turned a casino hobby into a business that has earned them over $1 million playing video poker in winnings. In their case, Jean is good with words but her husband’s dyslexia means that while language can be a problem he’s very good with numbers – so their contrasting skills add up to a winning combination.
Jean also believes that there are three key attributes to any winning partnership in gambling: you should never be jealous of a partner’s big wins, a good partner will be there for you to sympathise when you lose and you need to have shared goals so you can agree on when, where and how much to gamble.
There are countless other examples of partners who are making it big in business – from the couple who went from being on the breadline to earning £8 million from eBay to other high profile showbiz stars like Brangelina. So next time anyone trots out the old adage that you should keep work and home-life separate you’ll know to take it with more than just a pinch of salt - or maybe you should just treat it as an old wives’ tale instead.