Never Be An Invisible Business Partner, Defined As ‘Just A Wife’

When a couple runs a business together, the wife is often treated as a minor partner or even 'just a wife'. Isn't this downright insulting?

I have been a business partner with my husband for more than a decade running the operations for our business. However, for various domestic reasons, I have worked from home.

This means visiting office once a week for a decade (even before covid made WFH the norm) and being out of in-person social or business events and meetings.

Time has flown and now I have the bandwidth to get back to the normal working ways. It angers me when people treat you as just THE WIFE. Strangers you meet at business events come up with a lot of advice on how women should be working and going out of the home and partying etc. Now, this is a clueless outsider thinking I am a helpless wife who tags along with my husband for parties.

I feel like shouting from the rooftops for them to shut up and look carefully at a perfectly competent woman, multitasking, running a business and equally capable as her spouse. In most cases, people look at you as the wife!I recommend such folks to read Sudha Murthy’s ‘Gently falls the Bakula’ to appreciate women and capabilities and never, never belittle us.

Experiences like these happen everyday. From colleagues to business persons, all seem to not take the woman seriously, more so because she is the wife. Let me affirm that husbands and wives make great entrepreneurs.

Tips for women running a business with their spouses

Here are some tips for women considering partnership with their better halves (or anyone else for that matter):

  • Always keep the roles separate
  • Don’t play wife at the workplace
  • Attend in-person meetings and social events as much as possible
  • Get help for yourself if domestic responsibilities are curbing your outings
  • Develop your own business network and associates
  • Be alert and conscious of your rights and responsibilities as business owner, specially w.r.t compliances and financial documents.
  • Never sign documents without understanding your liabilities, and
  • Always have a plan B if differences increase everyday – reskill, take up a job, branch out to do something else. Let your business not ruin your home.

Image credits: Photo by Alok Verma on Unsplash 

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Born in small town India to professional parents in an age when working women were a rarity. Grew up among the bright,liberal and educated minds, who valued education, freedom for women, character and values. read more...

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