Test Yourself: Are you and your spouse cut out to be business partners?

(Place the appropriate number next to each question, then total your score)

1 = Doesn't describe us at all.

2 = Somewhat describes us.

3 = Frequently describes us.

4 = Completely describes us.

1. We have worked successfully on many joint projects. We enjoy it and get good results.

2. We value each other's opinions and respect and admire each other's skills.

3. I can freely express my opinions to my spouse, even if we disagree.

4. If one of us makes a mistake, the other is generally forgiving.

5. We consider ourselves equal business partners in ability, dedication, and contribution.

6. Our motivations for starting a business are similar. We hold the same values and want the same results from our business.

7. We always knew we would go into business together.

8. Spending time together strengthens our marriage. I can spend hours with my spouse without feeling bored or irritated.

9. When conflict arises, we don't let problems and resentment build between us.

10. Neither of us needs to be in control all the time. We aren't competitive or jealous of each other's success.

11. We cope well with stress individually and as a couple.

12. We know what we expect of each other both at work and at home. We agree on how to divide household and child-care duties and business responsibilities.

13. Both of us are willing to compromise. Neither of us has to be right all the time.

14. We trust each other to make sound and well-reasoned business decisions. We aren't threatened by any personal relationships that may form as a result of our business.

15. We are committed to a lifelong marriage. We wouldn't continue working together if it meant sacrificing our marriage.

16. We both tolerate the same level of financial risk.

17. Before we even considered working together in business, we had a great relationship. We believe our marriage is strong enough to withstand the pressures of starting a business together.

18. Both of us prefer a lifestyle that closely meshes our business, relationship, and family life.

Score: Total

56-72: Destined for success. Your foundation is strong.

37-55: It could go either way. Your success depends on how you respond to the aspects of working together that challenge you and your partnership.

18-36: Trouble ahead. Strengthen your marriage before you take on a full business partnership.

Source: "Honey, I Want to Start My Own Business: a Planning Guide for Couples."

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