I think the bigger question is WHY hold a FBM. The short answer is intentional communication.
Obviously, Adam and I live together, but it is so easy to get swept up in everyday life and let the details fall to the wayside. We have miscommunications all the time, even with this set aside time. Making your business your FAMILY’S BUSINESS shifts the burden to a shared responsibility and therefore makes both partners feel supported; from ME-to-WE. Commitment from both parties to the FBM shows dedication to the process of improving communication and to the relationship. Guys, it’s only 30-45 minutes a week! If you can’t commit to that then there are bigger issues at play.
Benefits include, but are not limited to:
It’s like a date night, in a way. At least, it’s time set aside for us to “adult” together.
It gives a set time to talk about things we might otherwise suppress and blow up about later.
It gives us time to look over schedules and expenses for the week so that there are fewer overbookings or missed events.
We use Google calendars that we share with each other so that everything is in one place and we don’t book things over each other.
It gives us time to discuss the status of the business and how it effects our family. I get the chance to ask questions about things I may not be clear on.
It makes us approach conversations with each other with more respect, almost adopting the professionalism of conversations had in the workplace. This may seem like a cold approach, but it works because we are able to compartmentalize the issues and take out some of the emotion that always resulted in a fight.
It gives us the opportunity to advocate for ourselves. Adam and I have very different needs when it comes to how we recharge. He is a blazing extrovert who likes a party 24/7. I ride the line of extro/introvert and I need some alone, quiet time. It’s nice to be able to say, “How about we do this event, but skip this one.” Best of both worlds.
We get to constantly sync up our priorities and goals, both as a family and as individuals. It gives us the chance to really build each other up and show our support.
We discuss parenting strategies, vacation planning, future building, house maintenance, and any number of other things that come up in day-to-day life but get blown by.
Ideally you would have yearly, quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals, but since that’s a little too intimidating at the beginning we’ll jump right in with a weekly meeting. Start in the here and now. Set a time and go from there. We do Sunday evenings after the kids go to bed and it’s literally scheduled on the calendar. We get google alerts that remind us. See the template attached for the basic discussion points, fill them in briefly, and voila! You’re automatically communicating on a deeper level than you were 45 minutes prior.
It’s important to remember that during the FBM you are business partners and should speak to each other as such using diplomacy and respect. This is not meant to be inflammatory. If things get heated for any reason move to the next point and then circle back around. Real progress comes with practice so try it for 4 weeks to get a good feel for it before you desert it completely. I think you’ll be surprised at how productive it’ll be.
This important step is so easy to skip. It seems too simple. It seems too formal for such a familiar setting, but I cannot count how many times it has saved our butts when it comes to scheduling our lives! We catch balls we are about to drop all the time. This INTENTIONAL TIME really gives us the opportunity to just be there for each other, but I think the bigger gain is that it starts conversations and that’s where true communication and growth happens. Just talking to each other. Good luck businessing together!