Ask An Expert: Should I Start A Business With My Partner?

Collage / Julia Gessler

Entrepreneur Alliv Samson of globally successful ed-tech company Kami, helps a reader decide whether to mix business with family.

Q: My husband and I have dreamt of starting a business together for some time, but I have my reservations.

While we’ve always had a harmonious relationship, I’m concerned this will

I’m also mindful of us not having enough time for our two young children, let alone our hobbies.

What tips do you have for navigating a family-run start-up? Is there such a thing as work-life balance when you run your own company?

A: First of all, I think it’s great that you’re asking for advice before delving into your own business ownership journey! Talking to couples who are navigating the same challenges has helped my husband (also one of the co-founders of Kami) and I enormously on our own entrepreneurial adventure.

The first piece of advice I’d give anyone starting a business and running a household is that they both need to be nurtured, cared for and tended to. To do that, you need to build your company like you would a home — founded on values, ideals and goals that are honest, transparent and designed to let yourself and others grow. By doing this, you can foster a supportive environment where employees are nurtured, helped and guided.

This was something we prioritised when building Kami and it has helped us build a team that cares about the work they’re doing. This top-to-bottom care has made it easier for me to take a step back from work when family life needs to take priority and trust that our strong community of Kamileons can hold down the fort.

Before you dive headfirst into becoming an entrepreneur, you do need to accept that achieving a work-life balance is tough. Starting a business really turns time into a resource and requires you to work out what parts of your life are a priority and to work around those important moments.

Narrowing down what is important will require great communication with your partner and is something that should be fluid and open for discussion. For my husband and I, transparency and honesty around expectations and how we can work together to solve issues has helped us foster a beautiful family and harmonious work environment.

We do this primarily by having one-on-one meetings for work and one-on-one meetings for household matters. This helps us set out what our responsibilities are and work out how we can support each other professionally, emotionally and as parents.

Alliv Samson is the chief growth officer of ed-tech company Kami, one of the only Kiwi businesses to be named on Time’s 100 Most Influential Companies list.

Unlock this article and all our Viva Premium content by subscribing to 

Share this article: