By Lori Zaslow and Jennifer Zucher for Project Soulmate with contributing writer Emily Stovall

Starting your own business is hard and it can be even harder when you don’t have the full support of your spouse behind you. But what if you could have them beside you? The most cost effective way to start your own business is to start it at home, rather than renting or buying an outside office space. Not only will you save financially, you’ll also save stress in managing your free time, as you will be able to spend days with your family at home. However, this can be positive or negative. The problem with having your workplace and your living space as one is that sometimes it can be difficult to separate work from play. You can work so much that the hardships from your job start rolling over into your family and personal life and you start taking your frustration out on those you love and having relationship problems. On the other hand, you could focus so much on your family that you fall behind with work. Both scenarios can be damaging to the health of your job and your family. The overall goal is to have a stable job, while maintaining healthy relationships and with a little relationship advice you can accomplish both!

Relationship Advice: Keeping Your Relationship Strong

The most important thing is to designate a location in your home that is strictly for work. This doesn’t mean that you can’t occasionally bring your laptop into the living room to do some last minute work, but it means that the majority of the time you keep business in this specified office area. This helps to literally separate home life from business, as the two will be physically separated. Now that the where has been identified, the next important thing is to determine the when by setting aside specific hours each day that you plan to focus on work. Likely it would be similar to what your hours would be in a typical workplace such as “9-5 Monday-Friday.” If your company flourishes most on the weekends, then select specific hours on the weekend that you will designate for work. Make sure that your spouse and your children are aware of these hours so that they know not to bother you at those times. If you do not make these assigned work hours clear to your spouse or family, it could potentially cause arguments if they were to interrupt your work, causing frustration.

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Establishing a place and specific time to focus on your work are only the beginning. To maintain a healthy balance of work and play while maintaining a home business, you must dedicate time to focus on your spouse and/or children. For example, every Friday night can be “date night” with your spouse and Saturday’s from 12-5 can be set aside to do something fun with your kids such as an aquarium visit. Most importantly, during this quality time, keep all conversations away from work. Don’t bring it up at all. In fact, set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” if you feel like you’d be tempted. Making sure to avoid any conversation about work is super important because your husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, or children need to know that you are not only focused on work, but that you are also 100% focused on them, too!

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A healthy work-life balance poses a challenge when you work from home, but it is not impossible. Remembering these simple, helpful dating tips from Project Soulmate’s own relationship experts can keep your business afloat and your relationships thriving. Dedicating specific times and moments to each important aspect of your life (work, spouse, children, and me-time) is crucial. As long as you are patient, have a knack for organization, and follow this relationship advice, a strong relationship while working from home will be no problem! Just remember that your spouse is there to support you, and would definitely rather be helping you than arguing with you.

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Relationship experts Lori Zaslow and Jennifer Zucher are BRAVO TV’s Love Brokers and founders of Project Soulmate, a high-end New York-based matchmaking company.