So… if you haven’t figured it out yet, we are in a relationship. We’ve been together for about 3 years now.
Queue the negative (but sometimes positive, who are we kidding… mostly negative!) feedback we have received from friends, family and internet columns when we told them we were going to start a business together. BUT, you aren’t married!? BUT, it won’t work! BUT, this isn’t the normal things people your age do! WHY do y’all have to be so different!?
We’ve been in business for a month now. We sure have learned a lot. We learned that the path less traveled is filled with many bumps, detours and path paving. First, learning how to be in a relationship and be business partners is tough. Relationships are fun. Laughing. Heavy petting. Sharing a DVR together. Relationships are also tough. Constant belching and farting from a person who would never burp or fart around you had you only been on two dates. Pressure from other people to either move the relationship along faster or take it slower but never go at the pace you both are going right now. Learning to communicate in the right tone at the right time in the right voice in the right frame of mind so as not to make someone rightfully pissed off for not doing so. As all of you know, relationships have their ups and downs. Business is fun. Sweating, working, long hours. Sharing email accounts. Not getting enough sleep. Selling over $1,000 in a shift. WOOHOO! Business is also tough. It has ups and downs. Sometimes we prepare way too much food, sometimes not enough. Sometimes it rains and ruins a shift. Sometimes you drop a $11 Steak Sandwich on the floor and have to start over. As we’re sure you can see… we’ve entered into quite the balancing act!
This is without a doubt, the hardest thing that we’ve ever done: learning to balance our relationship with growing our business.
Being business partners are kind of like relationship partners except you go home separately to other lives. You are attached to a certain extent but it ends once you close the front door at home. You don’t always have to answer the phone because you can probably come up with some white lie that they might actually believe. You care more about making the dollars and the business work than remaining good friends in the end (hopefully you do end up friends or else that’s a sad way to about life). But hey, it’s a tough life so you got to look out for yourself, right? But business partners can also share more meaningful bonds outside of business. But how close can you get without mixing business with pleasure? Well you could go all the way and jump off the deep-end diving board together and just go into business with your significant other.
So the biggest thing that we’ve learned so far? Over-communicate. Listen more. Leave it at the door later that night. Don’t forget to walk the dog because our long work hours stress him too. Learn and clearly identify your roles in the business. Plan, plan, plan! Laugh. Admit when you mess up. Compliment your significant other when they do something well. Remind them to step it up if they aren’t giving 100%. Take time for the relationship. Make cheap frozen pizza and watch football. Go on a walk in the park.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on this crazy adventure of being together in life and in business. If you have any advice for us from experience please feel free to drop us a note. In the meantime, we look forward to sharing our experiences with you as you hopefully share some ideas and stories about you along the way.
Juliana & Tyler