Surviving in a home-based business with your spouse – part three

My husband and I celebrated our 30th year in a home-based, tourism business in 2020 and up until this year I did not know why people thought that was any great achievement. It has always seemed simple to me, this is our life, and it’s just what we do.

My husband is usually riding his motorcycle and guiding tours in Cape York, for 250 days a year while I run the business from home. Well, he did that for the last 29 years, so I have gotten quite used to my house being MY house and I like things to be just so and routines to be maintained. When he comes home for the wet season it’s not always smooth sailing as he likes to put his two cents worth into how things should be run or how my children should be raised, hmmm.

Move forward to 2020 and the four-month wet season has become a 12-month sit-in, and the whole world is now facing the same problem. We all have to work from home with our spouses. When the inevitable disagreement does occur it is time to head off into your separate corners for some “spousal distancing”.

7. Make sure you have defined retreat spaces

We are lucky enough to now be on a 70-acre property that has a very large man shed, and that is definitely Roy’s space. However, it used to be just the suburban garage. Ladies, let me tell you a man’s garage/shed is his sacred space just like the master suite bedroom in the house is “my” space!

If you are living together and working together or locked in together, I think it is important to have a place that is your ultimate private retreat and that the concept is understood by all parties.

These places and spaces within your shared area should be clearly defined and respected every day. He respectfully lets me watch my shows on television, “without comment”, in my extremely tidy bedroom, while I always put the tools back exactly where I found them when borrowed from his space.

8. What’s your white flag

If you choose to take time out in retreat I think it is equally important to set up a white flag signal. We have learned to wipe the slate clean every morning, no matter what. Don’t hold grudges. 

The final two points in this series are the most important I think.

9. Create a workspace

It is as crucially important to define a workspace as it is to have a retreat space. The workspace should be just that, the place where the work is done.  This is not the place to chat about house duties or parenting, it’s purely work-focused. Save your “personal” discussions for personal time and vice versa. Don’t bring up business in a personal area or in personal time. Write yourself a note and bring up that brilliant idea at the right time.

10. Stick to the routine

Once you have allocated times and spaces for business stick to the routine you have created and commit to it as if someone else was paying you to do so. My best client is my “visualised” boss and I’m not going to let them down.

Renae Kunda, Co-founder and Director, Cape York Motorcycle Adventures