A couple who have stayed together through 6 company launches share their secrets for balancing serial entrepreneurship with a happy marriage

Bryan and Shannon Miles

Married couples have launched and led many successful companies in industries as varied as healthcare, consumer products, and professional services.
Bryan and Shannon Miles have founded several successful businesses and are launching a leadership consultancy this year.
Business Insider sat down with the Mileses and asked them to share their best advice for romantic partners wanting to become business partners.
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Cofounding a startup is often compared to marriage, but for some business partners the relationship is literally “till death do us part.”

Married couples have successfully launched companies in industries ranging from health services to consumer products, such as Dr. Shari Sperling and Ari Katz of Sperling Dermatology, Justin Joffe and Alexandria Ketcheson of Henry the Dentist, and Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick of the luxury candy maker Sugarfina.

Bryan and Shannon Miles have been married for 22 years and in business together for the past decade. Together they founded and led five virtual-services businesses (which they combined in 2017) as well as a craft brewpub.

This year, they are launching a leadership consultancy called Own Not Run, which aims to help business owners guide their companies toward self-sufficiency.

The Mileses sat down with Business Insider and shared five insights for couples thinking about starting a business together.

Put the relationship before the business

The Mileses take their businesses very seriously, but they are unequivocal about their top priority.

“Ultimately, what we’re aiming at is not great businesses,” Bryan said. “We’re aiming at a great marriage and a great family. We’re looking at something that’s a vision of us in our 70s and 80s.”

The Mileses said they had built all of their businesses in a way that allowed them to focus on their children and on each other.

Don’t jump into anything too quickly

Shannon and Bryan were married for more than 10 years before starting their first joint business, and they said the time spent developing their professional identities outside their relationship was instrumental to their success.

Shannon relayed the advice she gave to an entrepreneur she mentored who wanted to bring her fiancé into a new business idea.

“Don’t do it. It’s a bad idea,” Shannon told the bride-to-be. “Y’all are just getting married. There’s enough other things going on, and I really think you should wait a little while before you go into business together.”

Treat each partner as truly equal

Startup experts typically recommend that one cofounder be a little more than equal to prevent deadlocked decisions, but the Mileses counsel against that arrangement for business and romantic partners.

“Go in as equals and as peers,” Bryan said. “The more you can approach it from an equal standpoint, the more rewarding it can be as a couple. It’s a joy to do this together.”

The Mileses applied a similarly egalitarian approach to their management style.

“As much as we were talking about deferring to each other, as we grew we actually deferred to other members of the team,” Shannon said.

Establish clear communication and boundaries

Most of the time, the boundary between work …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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