What is a work spouse? A coworker/business partner of the opposite sex that works in the same office or industry and complements your career. My boy, Daren Gayle is CEO of ITG Enterprises, a Christian entertainment artist agency, and I work as a...me.
Oftentimes we share clients, projects, faith and ambition. We escort each other to various events(like I escorted him to the Gospel Music Festival pre-conference dinner two weeks ago and last year he escorted me to the Christys Book Awards Banquet.) And when we don't need each other on the business side we are each others support as brothers and sisters in Christ. Believe this or kick rocks-- our friendship is kinda good. More importantly, our coupling adds value to both are businesses.
Why the opposite sex?
I don' t have a clue. I have BFFs, write-or-die chicks and gal pal counterparts, but this arrangement it works. Could be because I have a twin brother and his best friend is his sister. Perhaps our gender difference gives each other a fresh perspective on what we do. I don't know, but what I know is...what he's good at it I don't want to do, but I know how to help him do it better and vice versa.
But there are pitfalls or things to consider if you are thinking about partnering with a business friend of the opposite sex:
1. Honor the friendship.
Good friends are indeed hard to come by. Friends with business benefits are even harder, so take care of your friend. Be honest in all business arrangements. If that means you won't take a client for conflict of interest, then don't do it. And if you're both brothers and sisters in spirit make sure you place yourself in a position to honor and respect his manhood/her womanhood.
Sometimes I am a bit tomboyish or I get a little too girly with my discussion, but the Daren just ignores or chuckles about my constant slips about mascara and lipgloss, then pulls me back into our world.
2. Sync your calendars.
I owe this tip to Daren. He constantly gets on me about keeping him informed of my calendar and any client's calendars that we share. Schedule a time to sit down and share your work calendar and what needs you may need from each other to be successful on your end.
3. Treat him like family.
Daren is a part of my family. Truth be told I just introduced him to my mom and sister. They thought it was about time and long overdue. I talk to Daren so much I assumed my family had already met him. So make sure you introduce your family and spouse/significant other to your biz bud and become a bridge between the two. Put your family first. Set clear work hour boundaries, so that you two don't run over into family time and respect each other's personal space.
But...which leads to tip #4.
4. Prepare and expect to see the White Elephant in your partnership.
When your best business bud is a single guy and you are a single gal, then expect to deal with the white elephant in the room, "Are you two dating?" the question/the look/the expectation. Believe me. You are not alone there are many work spouses and this relationship continues grow. If this question is an issue for you, then you may need to rethink this partnership. Your biz buddy should make things easier for you not worse. And your real spouse should be comfortable and even welcome the partnership. If not, then I suggest you take a step back and fix the problem.
This relationship should be a burden lifter for you and if you're single like me it sure takes the edge off of having to bring a date at events and it really, truly helps you to remember your self worth. You will choose better men to date, because you're not male companionship and you will see how a man should respectfully treat you and not expect anything less.
Now all this talk has me wondering: How many successful work spouses are out there and are there any writing team spouses? Don't get me wrong I don't want to divorce Daren, but...sh... I would love to collaborate on a book with a guy.
Here are the work couples I found some cornball, but fun(feel free to add to the list:)
Scully and Moulder of the Ex-Files. Right?
3. Queen Latifah and Producer Shakim Compere. White Elephant in the Room on that one.
This post is my submission to the Problogger Killer Post Titles' Writing Project.
Dee Stewart is a writing diva mother, News Editor for Hope for Women Magazine, inspirational book reviewer for Romantic Times Magazine, Atlanta Satellite Bookseller for Mocha Readers Bookstores, and owner of Christian Fiction Blog and The Christian Fiction Network. Her writings have appeared in: Spirit Led Woman, Gospel Today, Good Girl Book Club, The Dabbling Mum, Atlanta Christian Family, Mosaic Literary, Precious Times, Vertical Fix just a few. Visit her at Christian Fiction. Follow her on Twitter at DeeGospel