#263 How to Work With Your Partner or Spouse in Your Company with Jess VanDen

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Is running a business with your spouse or partner a good idea? We brought in an expert. 

Jess VanDen runs not one, but TWO different businesses with the help of her husband – Epheriell Jewelry and Create and Thrive

She sat down with me to spill the tea on what it takes to make a business partnership AND life partnership work at the same time.

Relationship goals, anyone?

After years of success selling jewelry and coaching other handmade creators, Jess is overflowing with valuable insight.

Here are some of the highlights…

#263 How to Work With Your Partner or Spouse in Your Company with Jess VanDen ShowNotes

“If one person has the mental load of work, that person is going to get overwhelmed and burnt out and it's not fair. And so I think it's really important that you just have those discussions and negotiations even if you break it in different areas, whatever works for you doesn't matter.”

Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product-based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing, and scaling your business. Spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let's do this.

Tracy: Welcome to the Thrive by Design podcast episode 263. Hey there, It's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy, and the host of the show today and I'm excited to have a very special guest Jeff Van Den of Create and Thrive. And I'm excited to have Jess on the show because she talks about what it's like running two businesses with her partner. And or as we would call it here in the United States for spouse or husband. And I'm excited to have Jess on the show because we met years ago and we've run these parallel businesses that are different but similar because we're both serving the creative industry and helping people sell things that they make. And I honestly can't believe it's been this long until I've had her on the show because we met I don't know, maybe like seven or eight years ago at the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon, back in the day, so Jess is going to talk about what it's like working with a partner how to make it work.

So if you've been working from home during this time period and or you're thinking about bringing your spouse on to your company, I would highly work and listening to this episode, or even if you're thinking of having your spouse just working with you part time, because we know that in a small business, we can use all the help that we can get. And sometimes our family members are our most helpful assets. 

So she's going to share how she makes it work, how they end up, you know, splitting responsibilities, so that the business is thriving, and how they attempt to keep life and business separate, which I think is really important, especially if you're working with someone in your family, or someone who is a spouse. And I know this quite intimately because in 2006 to 2009, my sister Carly and I were working together and people who work with their family members have unique challenges. And so we've, you know, we had to work through those things. And I know that people who have actually been living with their business partner, or spouse, have another set of unique challenges. 

So this is going to be amazing for anyone who is navigating those waters and we'll dive into that episode momentarily. Before I do I just wanted to talk a little bit more about what's happening over here at Flourish and Thrive Academy now we just finished an amazing masterclass couple weeks ago called Supercharge Your Sales and on that masterclass, we talked about some of the things that are going on in the industry, we've completed a study. And I know some of you participated in that study, which is awesome. And I'm excited about this because we surveyed over 1,000 people in the creative product and jewelry industry, to see how things were going to see what was what the market trends were looking like. And so some of the findings were quite surprising. 

We realized that after aggregating the data, we realized that wholesale is down 55% retail brick and mortar retail is down 61%. In person shows, pop ups, events, art shows all the things that a lot of people I know listening to this podcast make the majority of their income down 69% The only segment that was up was a segment that was selling on their own branded website. And that was up by 41.4%. Gotta get the point 4% in there, and about 40% of those people a little bit more than 40% are trending flat. And this was the only segment that didn't have the majority of their sales trending down.

So what that tells me is that if you aren't selling online on your branded website, or you haven't figured out how to kind of teach your customers or train your customers to buy from you online, on your branded website, because you've been relying on these other sources of income. In particular, if you have a brick and mortar store, you need to have an online component if you want to survive these days, because if you're relying on foot traffic, you are going to be in big trouble. And you know, if you're selling wholesale stores, you know, you can't really control that. 

But one of the things that people in wholesale believe is that the wholesale businesses that were doing well were the ones that partnered with jewelry and creative product brands who either had collaborations where they're selling the product that they ordered online and or if the store had an online component, and they were promoting their designers. These are the reasons why people have been able to sell or actually save their business, I should say, in these times. So I know that a lot of people are doing art shows in person shows, pop ups, all those things were hit really hard. But the ones who are really smart, were able to replace their income by getting those people shopping on their websites, collaborating with other artists doing virtual trunk shows and pop ups and all those things. So we get it like it's been a weird year. 

And we feel like we still have half the year to make up for the weirdness that happened in the beginning of the year. And we'd love to help you with that. And so that's why in this masterclass, we announced that we are going to be doing free business accelerator audits. The audits are free. I'm gonna tell you a little bit more about that. We can help everyone and so we really encourage you to apply but we don't just help everyone and let me tell you what I mean by that. Because you know, these audits are really designed for people who are serious about their business, they're ready to invest in getting some support right now. 

And they want someone to tell them what their next steps are because they're overwhelmed and confused and aren't sure they're not sure what they're not seeing. because inevitably, we do a lot of these types of audits where we dig deep into people's businesses. And the one thing's for sure is that a lot of times people can't see what is going wrong in their business. And so they end up doing the same thing over and over again and expecting their business to grow. 

But it just ends up being in this profit plateau where they're just working harder for less money. And so we want to help you kind of break free of that. So if you're interested in learning more or seeing if you qualify, I'd love to invite you to head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/strategy/ . And you'll see on that page, what the audit is all about. You'll see kind of how we can help you. And there is an application there where you can see if you qualify For the free audit, so fill that out, it might take 10 to 15 minutes, but it's totally worth it, you'll get an hour of our time, we just ask that you commit to showing up for the audit if you're going to apply for one, and be ready and willing to be present, and absorb all that's going to come on. So that's all if you're interested in that head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/strategy/

And let's do this. Now let's dive into our episode with Jessica and she is a jewelry designer. She's been running apparel jewelry since 2008. She started her business on Etsy. And she brought her husband into the business soon after she started. She's been teaching makers and other people in the industry, how to sell their wares on Etsy and online and how to turn their hobby into a successful business. So she also has an amazing podcast that you should listen to called creative thrive. And yeah, you're going to learn a lot in this episode, so why don't we dive in without me talking anymore?

Tracy: I am super excited because I've just found yet on the show of Creating Thrive, Jess, welcome to the show today.

Jess: Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to chat to you.

Tracy: I'm excited. Well, it's fun to see you. We recorded a podcast interview for your podcast. I think maybe last week about it. Yeah, it was last week. We're recording this. And we had a really fun conversation. And Justin I met. I'm rolling away on my chair right here. Justin, I met at the World Domination summit several years ago, maybe like six or seven or even eight years ago. And it's fine because we've been kind of building businesses that are very similar but different and supporting creatives who have product-based businesses. So I'm excited to talk to Jess because she has a really unique topic because she works with her partner or husband. And as we call them a husband here in the United States partner in Australia.

Jess: He's my husband as well.

Tracy: So I'm really curious to hear a little bit more about that. So I want to hear more about your business and because You're a jewelry designer, but you also have created thrive. So let's talk about your journey into all of this.

Jess: Okay, sure. So I used to be a teacher, so a school teacher, and then I segwayed into working in private practice. So I worked for a tuition company. And I had lots of spare time, because my hours were like one to eight. And I just discovered jewelry making as a hobby. I had no intention of making a business. Yeah, it was just something I did for fun. I blogged about it because I loved, you know, the internet and websites. I used to make websites for fun. And yeah, after about a year and a half, I just got married. 

So this was 2009. And I over the school holidays in September here and went back to work and my boss was like, I'm planning on selling the business. Do you want to buy the franchise business? And I took all the paperwork, my shiny new husband, who is English, so he didn't have a job at the time here because he didn't have the right visa. And we're like, what do we do? I want to buy this business so we want to go in for that, or do we want to do something else? And we're like, I was like, I enjoy this job, but my heart's not in it to be my own business. 

So yeah, I said, No. And we were like, Well, we've got freedom, like work this, like big change in our lives. Why don't we go traveling for a while before we kind of settle down again. So our plan was, we bought an empty van and over the summer, so you know, December, January last summer, we converted it into a camper van. And we did that at my parents place in the country because my dad has every tool under the sun. And during this time, I was running my jewelry business up to this point for about a year and a half as a hobby. It was doing pretty well. 

And I was blogging about what I was learning as I was going, right. So I'd be part of this online, really good online community. I joined a local Etsy team called barista, which is really fantastic and helpful and I was like, I will, I'll have to shut this down. I can't travel and do this. I've done it since I know. And, and then what happened was, I had some medical issues, which meant we couldn't leave and we kept getting delayed and delayed and delayed. And of course, we're living in my parents place. 

Tracy: You're not living in the camper van?

Jess: So we were living in the barn. So my parents have like this American style barn with like two sides. And one side, we had one room and the other room was the horses room that we were living in. And I was like, What am I going to do? Well, I might as well reopen my jewelry business and try to make a bit of money. And by the time about six months later my medical issues were finally sorted. The business had started to go really, really well. And we like, maybe we should just roll with this. And that's what we did. And here we are 12 years later, and I'm still rolling with it.

Tracy: Amazing. So does he work in your jewelry company or for Creating and Thrive or both?

Jess: Kind of both because at that stage, so that was 2010. And Create and Thrive didn't come along until a couple of years later. So you know, he was the domestic God, he would do all Everything like our whole relationship because he didn't have a job, he would do everything cooking, cleaning, shopping, which I love because I'm not very good at that stuff. And so he was still doing that. And he, you know, had savings, I'd savings and we slowly like I was getting so busy. 

I was working like 16 hour days, I really threw myself into it. burnout happened, whatever that was in the future. And I was like, I could really use a bit of help. And he's like, Well, you know, what's something I can do in my bookkeeping? Could you keep the spreadsheet up to date? Like, that's pretty simple. You just have to log in every day and look at the silos and stuff and whatever. So he started doing that. And then slowly over the next few years, I started giving him more and more jobs until the point today, he does all the bookkeeping he does. 

He does all the packing and the shipping he makes most of the jewelry now Oh wow. Yeah, I trained him to make rings. So he makes all of our rings. I still make earrings and necklaces and help a whole bunch of other jobs in the business like some marketing work and like behind the scenes sort of work. He very much likes playing behind the scenes. I managed to get him on the podcast on switches, right. But yeah, so yeah, so we've worked really well. It's funny, we don't see it as like, there's the business and then there's life, everything is one big job and he has his responsibilities and I have my responsibilities and we kind of work as a team really, really well.

Tracy: Okay, so how did it there ever? Any time you're like, now you're like, oh, okay, well, it's awesome. So like, what can we talk about? Because if that's like, so good, like, were there any ties if there was like a struggle or anything like that?

Jess: Oh, yeah, like it wasn't completely smooth sailing. We're both pretty laid back people. And we have slightly different styles of working like I'm, I guess I'm the the ideas woman like I'm the one who's still I do all the like long term planning and thinking and deciding what direction you know, the business going, Nick is extremely good at getting stuff done. Like once he has a job, he gets it done. And that's, you know, business all the rest of life sort of thing. 

So sometimes there's a bit of tension there where I'm like, I don't like, as the breadwinner, like, I feel like I'm the person kind of in charge of making sure we eat, and that can be stressful. And I think anybody who's the breadwinner of the family knows that at times, it can get a little bit overwhelming and you're like, Ah, yeah, you know, so, but he's very good at like, being my sounding board and, you know, giving me advice and he's always like, well, I could, you know, I can always go get a job. I'm like, No.

Tracy: Yeah, you always say I'm like, I wish I like, met someone who could, like, run my business with me, but then I realized that it would probably ruin my relationship because I'm a control freak. Oh, man. I have to let go of my own way.

Jess: It can be tricky. We've had you know, we've had a few tense moments about that over the years. He's very good at understanding that part of me though, like, he knows what's going on and, and then I will realize what I'm doing like, yeah, I'm a big control freak too. And I've worked out I call myself a recovering perfectionist. So try not to be a perfectionist about everything. And I think one of the hardest things when you are training someone, whether they're, you know, family member or not, is you have to have the patience to teach them because they're going to suck at the beginning. That's just normal. And you just have to keep going and keep going and have the patience to get them to the point where they're good enough, and then they're not to be fair. He's better than me now. Like, I haven't made a ring in a while. 

So it's funny like he'll sometimes joke about, you know, when's the last time you met him? I still do all the quality. I still do collect quality control at the end. So we have a really good system. I think this is a really important point to have systems. If you do work, if you just work by yourself, right? You should have good systems, but especially when you're working with somebody else, you need to develop really robust systems that ensure that things don't fall through the cracks and mistakes don't happen. I mean, they still do occasionally. But our systems pretty good at catching them because, like what happens when we get an order? He writes, like, we have a book, we still old school, right all our orders into like just a lined notebook. And that sort of go, it's like the Bible of our business. So we write everything in the book. And then we have a post it notes. 

So the post that note goes downstairs, and that's where we keep the jewelry with it as we go. So he writes in the book, and then I double check what he's written in the book. Then he'll go make the jewelry, then I'll go downstairs and I'll check, double check everything he's made, make sure we're making the right thing for the right person. Make sure that he hasn't made a mistake, and he checks what I do you know, cuz when I make stuff, he checks what I've made, make sure the same thing and then So that's kind of how it all works. And it works that works really well to mostly avoid mistakes

Tracy: I love about your system is that I sometimes think for production systems, especially when you're working in house with the team, which is your husband, that you know, sometimes old school paper really works, you know, when I had an office and studio where we did production out of, and we had contractors doing some, like the heavy soldering and stuff because we're shipping a lot of units outside of and heavy production outside of the office, but assembly and like soldering and stuff like that was inside the office, but we would have trays, the trays would have the order, there'd be a lot of sticky notes on there, like what was missing, what was left to put in it, and they would pass around. 

And we also had the notebook with the thing that we'd pass around from stage to stage and then once it got crossed off or whatever, then we knew it was done and we would actually bind all the orders in a binder. So we'd have a cleaning binder and then a binder with the highlighted ones to make sure like if someone because we were primarily doing wholesale but at that point, but if someone called us and said of pieces are missing, like we can check and reference back, like to the actual sheet, and the word was produced, so there is something really awesome about creating a production system with paper, too.

Jess: Yeah, I know. It sounds so old school, but I guess we've been doing it the same way for like, 12 years now. And it just works. So I'm like, Well, I know like, people use spreadsheets and stuff, but you can't. I mean, you can, you've got it on your phone, but I just find that having it, writing it down and having it there. It's just, I don't know anything about it just feel safe. 

Tracy: Is it a weird dynamic for your marriage having him as an employee, like does it ever cause any power struggles or like disagreements or anything Sorry, it's too personal.

Jess: No, no, that's fine. Um, it's pretty good. Like, I like to say like, technically He's my employee and it's like on you know, on paper, everything tax all that just he's the employee of my business. But I feel like it's more weapons and everything we do. So you know, That being said, we have like, who is the boss of the domain? Like, he's the boss of the domain, and I'm the boss of the business domain. And we each have our own responsibilities in those two domains. So, I guess sometimes there can be some tension there about, like, who's doing what we tried to check in with him, like, on a regular basis? I'm like, Am I doing enough for the house? Like, do you feel like we have an equal balance of work? Yeah. 

And he's, he's very, he's a very chill sort of Zen personality, he doesn't feel like, you know, threatened or anything by me being in charge, you know. So that's not a problem. If anything, it's probably the I'm the more like, controlling type of personality. So for me letting go of aspects of the business and just trusting him to do them, even though I trust him more than anybody in the world. It's still a little bit stressful at times to do that, especially with new things, you know, it takes a bit of time, but um, yeah. We, I think some things that help us live, you know, we don't live in the parents anymore. 

We have a nice house. Now, we have a home studio. So we have a studio downstairs in our garage, which is our jewelry studio. Upstairs. We both have our own offices. So he has an office, I have an office. So we have that separation of space, where we have our own workspace and we do our own thing. And so we're not like Together Together, although when we lived in the bond, we were like we literally lived into and worked into rooms. So if we can get through that we can do anything. And it's nice, you know, it's funny, he actually went out yesterday to get some firewood from my parents property. And he was gone like six hours. 

I don't like it when you're not here. It's like we're just so we're so used to you know, always being around each other. But, you know, we stopped for lunch together and stopped for dinner together. And the rest of the time we're kind of doing your own thing, but we check in with each other during the day and see what each person's doing in the morning. Having tea in bed we're like, so what's your plan for today? What's on the agenda? What are your jobs? So today sort of thing. 

And it just works really well for us. Like, it's funny like he, since we got together, we've apart from the first two year and a half, two years when I had that job outside the house, we've literally been together and worked together the entire time. So I think our personalities suit it really well. We get along very well, you know, we're good friends. We don't have a lot of conflict in general. So for us, it works really well. I know that there probably couples out there for whom it would not work very well. And we don't have children. So there is that as well. I think that adds a whole nother dimension to that sort of relationship.

Tracy: Are you thinking about having children?

Jess: No, neither of us want children. So that's another tick in the box that we're quite content with our two cats.

Tracy: Yeah. Perfect. Yeah. So some of the keys to making this work, developing systems and making sure that you guys are double-checking each other's work, having a separation of space and having each of you like one domain, one runs the household and one runs the business. So are there any other keys that come to mind of making this actually work that you haven't spoken about yet?

Jess: It's really easy for us to just get into a rut of literally, you know, we have to like make ourselves sort of date, because we're just around each other all the time. And you can fall into the habit of just kind of being, you know, colleagues and the love isn't there, obviously, but you need to actually make time for each other as just a couple rather than as, you know, a team sort of thing. 

So, we learned that a few years ago, so we try once a week we try not so easy right now, obviously, this is during COVID-19 but we usually go out for date, like, we'll go have dinner or we'll go for a swim and brunch at the beach or, you know, just go for a walk somewhere. And that's really nice because it's time to reconnect as a married couple, you know, outside of the daily grind. So that's been really important for our relationship. We have a lot of time in the evening separate. So we're both introverts. 

Luckily, we are each other's person, we're literally the only people in the world we can stand being around all the time. So that works really well. However, that being said, it's not like we hang out all the time. So you know, we have our minds together, we work during the day and have a check in times we have dinner together, we usually watch an episode of something on Netflix, and then he'll generally go hang out with his gaming buddies and I'll probably read a novel and then that'll be like three or four hours and then you know, go to bed. So we have to understand each other's needs and have that quiet time as well. And also separating work from the rest of life. 

There has to be, there has to be a container around work separate from, like leisure and the rest of things. So let's rewind. So when you know, I talked about that, and beginning time back in 2010, or whenever it was that I went full time, and I was working, working, working seven days a week, like all day, every day, that's all I was doing, because I was totally obsessed. I have a bit of an obsessive personality, when I really get into something like that, and he's very, he's very good at supporting me and kind of nudging me and going, mmm, you need a break. 

So, I got kind of burnt out around that time. And then I learned, okay, I need to put some boundaries around work like, I need to exercise. Generally speaking, I'll like to have a workout in the morning to take care of my mental physical health. And then I'll get to work and stop for lunch, get to work and have it in time. And then I forget about it the rest of the day and he does the same thing. So we definitely have work hours and we generally tell you weekends off. So, you know, unless we have some project or something we really need to get done. But that's pretty rare. So we're, that's been a really important part of making sure that we feel like we have a really good life. And we're not just constantly working all the time and only talking about work, you know?

Tracy: Yeah. So you're doing a good job of separating work-life balance, you know, we're talking to during Cova times have you guys done like, inside date nights or anything like that?

Jess: Yeah. So it's funny. It was my birthday the other weekend. And, you know, normally this year I was anyway, this year anyway because next year is my 40th. I want to have a big party. So this year, I was like, I just want a low key birthday. But generally, we might like to go away for a night or something. So what we actually did we actually have a granny flat next to the house that we normally have on Airbnb. We actually went and had a night away we went to a granny flat for the night. Yeah, so you like he wrote all the nice food down and we had you know what? to Netflix, nothing that we did was different than we do at home, but it's just nice to go to a different place or to live in a different bed, you know. So we did that. And honestly, here in Australia, we've been really, really lucky.

Like, out locked down, there's still been some things we can do. So one thing that we've been doing is going swimming in the ocean because we live close to the ocean. So yeah, we have always been allowed to go for exercise and swim in the ocean, which I'm a swimmer. So all the pools are closed, which we normally kind of would do once or twice a week anyway, so we've still been able to do that, which is really good. We still were added, like walking around, and I believe we needed to and things like that. So honestly, for us because of our lifestyle, it hasn't really changed very much. The only things we can't do, like, you know, go out to restaurants and cafes and things which I've been missing, but, you know, it'll come back. So we've been very lucky.

Tracy: That's amazing. Because you said I'm his, you said something like, we're each other's person or something. Did you ever do like a personality test to see like, what you're like Myers Briggs was or something like,

Jess: No, I haven't actually had. Yeah, it'd be interesting. I think we'd be quite complimentary.

Tracy: Yeah, I'm interested because my boyfriend Jason and I, I'm like, really into assessments, and I'm an ENFP. And someone told me once that the best match for an ENFP is an INFJ. So like when I met Jason and I was like, we were just talking. We went, it was a random way that we met. He actually was invited over to my apartment by this woman who was consulting for me. So I literally met him inside my apartment. But after we went and grabbed a coffee, and we're just chit-chatting. And we were talking about Myers Briggs. I don't know why, but we're talking about assessments or something. And I was like, Oh, so what's your do you know what yours is? And he's like, I think I'm an INFJ. And I was like, immediate Like, you're my person because I had heard there's this woman who's on Facebook. 

I think her name is Katya and I've met her several times, she's super sweet. She does video marketing and helps people scale their sales. But I was talking with her at an event once and she was talking about Myers Briggs personality test. And she's also an ENFP. And she was talking about her boyfriend who's an INFJ. They're very rare. Like you don't find them very often. They're only like, 1% of the population. So I'm like, oh, lucky, I'm probably never going to find one. But then one comes across. So you guys should do that test to see if you're like, you know,

Jess: I think I did it once. I think I was. I was an INTJ, maybe? Maybe? Yeah, I think something like that. I'm not sure.

Tracy: Okay, cool. So it seems like you guys do a really good job of keeping things separate. 

Jess: You know that that took a couple of years to kind of really lock-in. Well, I asked specifically because I'm the one sort of focused on the business all the time. Yeah, I can get a little bit obsessed with things at times. And that, you know, he's very good at being my, my sounding board for things, keeping my feet on the ground. And I'm like, off with all these ideas and all this excitement, you know. So yeah, that's worked really well, but because it probably was a couple of years to kind of get everything the way that really worked now, and we just kind of continued that into the future, I guess. So.

Tracy: Was there one thing that ever happened that kind of, you're kind of like, Okay, we gotta figure this out. Because like if we separate?

Jess: I think probably. Well, I think one issue we've probably had in the past and this might come up sometimes is that it's actually not the business but the home stuff. Well, there's two so one with the businesses. Probably that I get, I guess cranky might be a good word. If I feel like he's asking me to help him with a job that he should know how to do, and that I need to realize hang on. That's not that's not fair. 

Sometimes we need to, you know, we need a sounding board or a second opinion, he's very good at being that for me, and I need to learn to be better at that. and another one probably would be when we first got we're kind of the opposite of stereotypes in a lot of ways. Like he's a real neat organized person and I'm very a bit of a whirlwind. I was very messy as a younger person, like I don't my mommies call me the absent minded Professor like I just don't seem to see stuff around me like math and things like that. I just don't notice it because I'm in my head constantly. 

So like, I've had to learn how to be better at noticing those sorts of things and not just expecting him or letting him do all of that sort of work. Because he will like it. He's very caring. I think you know, love languages. Yeah. He loves taking care of people and taking care of me and stuff like that. So generally, like he would kind of just do everything. And I have to be aware that that's, you know, that's not fair. And that I need to step up and actually do some stuff when it comes to the house, but thing. 

So yeah, I think that's been one of the things that I've had to learn the lessons I've had to learn, just to make sure because he, you know, he will tell me if I'm just being completely oblivious to it all. But, you know, you hear this a lot from women about husbands, you know, I'm unlike the husband, and he's like, how can he not see the other day, the clothes on the floor, I felt like I'm like, and that's kind of how I am. But I've had to learn and I think it's important that you, you know, you have to learn those things that you're not so good at and find that place where everything meshes really well. And he's had to do some of the same things. 

For me, and I guess that's just, I mean, that's marriage or any working relationship, isn't it, you, you will find those areas where there's a bit of tension or a little bit of imbalance. And if you're going to work well together, you both have to be willing to step up. And actually, notice when you're not doing you're like pulling your weight or not doing what you should be doing. Yeah, so yeah, there are those sorts of tension sometimes, but most of the time, things work pretty well. And when we have those moments, he's very good at being the one to initiate conversation afterwards. So he's much more likely to be the person who says I'm sorry, but I'm, again, I'm learning to do that as well. 

Like, that's not fair, that one person is always the person putting themselves out there and, you know, that sort of thing. And this is why I think it's really interesting, talking about, you know, working with each other, because it's really no different than any other marriage. Like when You have to work with each other in every other aspect of life, you know, you have to be partners, and you have to make those negotiations about who's responsible for what. And I think having that open communication and willingness to be wrong, which I'm terrible at. It's really, really important. I'm very stubborn. And yeah, I find it hard to be wrong. So I like learning to be a better person in that way. So

Tracy: That's awesome. So I have a question because you mentioned the love languages, what's yours?

Jess: I think touch is a big one for me. So like hugs and just physical contact, because I, when I was younger, I didn't have a lot of that. So yeah, that that's that tends to be one. Like if I want to feel loved, I want a hug. That's kind of usually where it comes from. So yeah, and when you have that sort of thing, I think it's important and I think it's the love language thing that is really nice because if you understand what your partner is and what yours is, they can be more than one obviously but Make sure you're giving that. And that's kind of what I was talking before about, you know, making sure I'm doing things for Nick as well because that's his love language. And I should be showing him loving that way as well.

Tracy: I also think it works, you know, in business relationships with the exception of physical touch. Unless you're a partner in the workplace, you might get sued if you do that.

You know, like understanding what your people who work on your team and stuff are to really help you share with them more like if acts of service is their thing or quality time or whatever, you can schedule meetings with them or do something nice for them that makes them feel appreciated. Yeah, I love I love the love languages. Mine is quality time. I think my secondary is physical touch. And then Jason's physical touch and quality time. So we're like the complete person. exactly the same. Cool. So are there any other tips or anything that you didn't share that you'd like to say?

Jess: Well, I think it's interesting. Like if you do want to work with your partner, you really do have to sit down and actually talk about it and plan responsibilities. If you especially if you haven't been working together and then you start working together, definitely sit down and go, okay, who's who is the manager and that's probably the best word to use. I used to be a boss before I was like, there's another word that I like: the manager who's the manager of what so who was responsible for what in the work the home like decides what the domains are in your life that you guys share? Like maybe you have a maybe you're religious or something, you have spiritual domain or you have children. 

So you've got that domain. Like there's, there's lots of domains there might be for us, it's pretty much just home work. And so okay, who's the manager of what domain? So who's the one who is you know, keeping all of the mental load for that domain, I think it's a really important one, I think you might find in some relationships, especially where you bring the husband on board, if you are more kind of stereotypical, or you have been a more stereotypical, the woman's been in charge of the home, as well as you really need to renegotiate that because it's not going to work. If one person has the mental load of the home and the work, that person is going to get overwhelmed and burned out, and it's not fair. So I think it's really important that you just have those discussions and negotiations, even if you break it into different areas, whatever works for you doesn't matter. And you have to make sure that you know, everybody is happy with that and negotiate what that means like okay, well, does that mean you know, what are my responsibilities? 

What are your responsibilities in that domain? So you know, in work I have certain things as the manager that my responsibilities Nick has a whole bunch of jobs, but I don't even check like I don't check up on him. I mean, we had talked about it, but it's not like I'm like looming over him. Have you done this yet? I don't have to, because he knows his responsibilities and does them vice versa. You know, he's the manager of the home domain, and I have responsibilities and I need to do them. So I think that will make all the difference. Don't do it. Don't do it unconsciously, or don't expect it to just magically develop by itself. 

Make sure that everybody is, you know, on the same page, and you've communicated as to who's responsible for what, because that's how resentment will grow. And resentment breeds contempt. And that is not what you want in a working relationship, let alone a marriage. So anytime that things have gone wrong, that's generally been what the problem has been. It's been going because one of us hasn't either hasn't been doing our jobs that had been irresponsibility, or we felt too much mental load because the other person hasn't stepped up that sort of thing, or lack of communication about who's responsible for what, like if something were unclear about who's responsible for a particular job. And then, you know, one person expects the other person to do it and they haven't done it, and then they get cranky and that person's like, but I didn't realize this much. So, you know, communication and making those decisions. That's definitely key.

Tracy: Yeah, it's like having job descriptions and API's for those job descriptions, like, here's the job.

Jess: You know, that's another really good point is price. And thanks. Like, you know, every time he makes me dinner, I will say, Thank you, this is delicious, you know, I'm not just gonna expect it as my due, And when I do a really good job in the business, like, you know, I run a course and it goes really well. Or just, sometimes they'll just come up and say, you're doing really well and give me a hug and kiss, you know, I'm so proud of you. You know, you've done amazing, I know you can do anything like supporting each other and lifting each other up, and making sure that you're being grateful and that you're being supportive and understanding of the other person. Like that makes a huge difference. Because you feel then you feel valued. And that the work you're doing matters to the family and to the household, and to your partner. So don't take things for granted. Even if it's someone's responsibility, still give them gratitude, and thanks for it. And I think that's a really important thing

Tracy: That is super important. Jess, thank you so much for being here. This is awesome. I, I feel like this will be so enlightening to so many people who either are currently working with their spouse or partner or husband or who are considering it because things are shifting and who knows what's happening. Time for people to start working together and building their own Empire. They have control.

Jess: Yeah, I mean, I couldn't I wouldn't want it any other way. Like we, every six months ago. We're like, how're things going? And we're like, we wouldn't want to change anything. So we're very lucky.

Tracy: Awesome. Well, thanks for being here. Where can everyone find you?

Jess: Probably the best place is Create and Thrive. So that's just https://www.createandthrive.com  and from there you can find my podcasts and everything and my jewelry label is a serial Epheriell.com . And that's where you can find our work.

Tracy: Awesome. Thanks so much for being here. This is awesome. Thank you for having me.

Jess: Thank you for having me.

Thank you so much for listening to the show today. This is Tracy Matthews. And I am. And I just want to remind you, if you liked this episode, we'd love for you to share it with your friends, because sharing is caring. And that's how we get the word out. And if you're interested in getting our eyes on your business, and you want some clarity on how to move forward in this very strange year, I'd love to invite you to apply for a free business accelerator audit. All you have to do is head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/strategy/  to apply for your audit today. Take care until next time, this is Tracy Matthews, signing off.

Click here to download the show notes

Play To Your Strengths

Nobody is good at everything, and running a business takes a broad range of skills.

An ideal partner – in business and in life – balances out your strengths and weaknesses. The business you run together will thrive when you can both focus on doing what you do best.

For Jess and her husband, they separate their lives into different “domains” based on what they’re good at.

Systematize & Stay Organized

Typical marriage advice applies to business, too. Jess emphasizes communication above all.

Check-in with each other all. the. time.

Don’t assume the other person can read your mind. Talk to each other to organize systems and responsibilities that work for you both, as a team.

With the right systems, you can lean on each other for support and accountability to make sure the operation runs smoothly (or as smoothly as possible, at least!)

Be Partners in Everything You Do

You may be an employer + employee duo on paper, but in practice, you should be partners in everything you do. 

From business to your private life, don’t forget that you’re in this together.

Jess notes the importance of being able to walk away from business and be romantic. Go on dates, travel together, take a weekend off, spend time as a couple without talking about bookkeeping!

This episode was jam-packed with incredible insight and advice on how to successfully run a business with your partner or spouse. 

If this is something you’re considering doing in the future, I highly recommend listening to the full episode above!

xo, Tracy


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