Alright you guys, now that you know our story, it’s time to get right to it. As we mentioned running a business is hard and running it as a husband and wife or a couple can be even harder – if you don’t know how to strategize! Most people say we’re crazy for working together, but we find that it’s made us a better couple because we are using strategies to ensure that we not only know the difference between work and our personal lives, but also to ensure that we are growing as people.
Hi, we’re David and Meivys, a husband and wife photography team based in South Florida. We photograph weddings, portraits, and brands. We share all about life, marriage, and business over at @suarezpartyoftwo. Welcome and we can’t wait to connect with you!
When we learned to use these strategies in our business and in our lives, really, we grew because we understood each other better and we realized that in order to be successful and happy, things needed to change… we believe these are the 5 secrets to running a business as a couple, dive in below:
Systems – this was so important to us because we needed to have order so that when either of us looked for something, we didn’t scramble to try and find it – like files, passwords, receipts, etc. When you’re working alone, you kind of just have to figure it out and usually you can remember exactly in what purse you still have that Best Buy receipt, but as a couple… you need to be organized and have systems so that you can each do your roles without being frustrated. Real life example coming your way – David is suuuuppperrr OCD and does all of the accounting/bookkeeping/administrative (boring stuff! lol) while I am a little bit more relaxed and as a natural creative, I’ll admit I am a bit more messy. For a long time, receipts were a big issue and a topic of constant arguing – until we had a system. David developed a Back Office Folder Sequence that includes all of our business records, financial information, legal and contracts, pretty much everything is housed there. He created a folder for me and gave me a system to follow so that I can now take a photo or screenshot of the receipt – email it to him and add it to the folder. He no longer has to ask me for a receipt, then I go looking for the receipts and spend at least 10 minutes looking for it in the car, mu purse, my phone wallet, the kitchen table, etc. Instead, when I make a purchase, I photograph the receipt, email it and put it in my designated folder – from there he’s able to do his thing on Quickbooks! This was great and he knew exactly where to find the receipts and I knew exactly where to put them when I made a purchase – because we have this system, we haven’t had to argue over it for years, we barely even talk about receipts which gives us more time to cuddle and date nights!
Communication – ok guys, this one is not even one that is if you own a business, this is literally if you are in any relationship with anyone ever – business or personal, you need to be able to communicate effectively! When you communicate without assigning faults and with a clear mind, you’ll be golden! Because a relationship with your significant other has so many feelings attached to it versus a partnership with someone you don’t have to see when you get home – or with yourself… things can get a little rough… But if you’re able to communicate clearly and openly with your spouse it’s like magic. We used to think that because we’ve been together so many years, we had to read each other’s minds! We know that’s kind of silly, but it was one of those things that as a couple you just think you should be able to do lol… Anyways, we needed to step back and have a conversation around what we each need to bring to the table to make this work. I, Meivys, needed to be waaayyy more specific about what exactly I wanted David to do when we were shooting versus just letting him follow me around and not knowing what his role was. David on the other hand, had to communicate with me exactly what he wanted me to do to help him run the business together. We had to communicate when we were upset with each other, we had to discuss why we were feeling the feeling we were feeling, and we had to do that so that the next time we encountered a similar situation, we either knew what to do or knew it was okay to talk about it – respectfully of course. But I do want to add, that communication doesn’t just have to be about the bad things or the tough conversations, communication can be in the form of praise and love, it can be used to cooperate on a big project and to say how much you care about each other, how proud you are of his/her accomplishments, and how grateful you are for one another.
Reflection – I feel like communication and reflection go hand in hand because you can only positively reflect if you’re able to communicate without yelling and frustration in your tone. There were many times where we just wanted to go, go, go and didn’t “have time” to reflect on what was and wasn’t working. When we took the time to reflect on our business, on our wins and losses, on our growth – with un vinito and charcuterie on deck… it was always a great night! And reflection doesn’t have to be just yearly when you’re about to prepare for a new business year. We reflect quarterly and we take pride in knowing what has worked for us and what we can do as a team and as individuals to improve our skills, systems, and relationships. When we reflect and communicate well, its like an automatic growth button because sure you can keep working and keep going like little energizer bunnies how we were doing, but that can easily burn you out and affect your marriage…Think about it, you’re working hard and doing the same things but maybe you’re not seeing the results. That can easily be because you’re not taking out the time to reflect and see how you can each improve to grow – you can’t see what’s happening if you’re not discussing it – you can’t grow if you’re stuck doing the same thing the same way. When we started to reflect on our favorite clients and our most profitable project, on our biggest pool of referrals, etc. we started to see the light! We started to see the patterns that are leading us to live happier and work less, while at the same time, have more time for us to be a couple versus a business.
Acceptance – Not going to lie to you guys, this is a challenging one because its not just about accepting yourself but its also accepting your partner – and its about accepting their flaws and their magic! Like in any sport or business, there are different jobs for different people and its crazy for us to think that we can both do everything and do it the same way or at the same skill level – FALSE! We just can’t and we have to accept that. We tried to teach eachother so many things and we ended up wasting that time, why? Because we just needed to accept what each of our magic’s were and place each other in that spotlight. For example, David does not edit…and trust me we tried! I tried to teach him, we tried purchasing courses for him to learn all so he could help me edit…but why? We realized we were trying to make him do something I was already good at, so we were actually hindering him from realizing his potential in other areas like client retention and communication, not to mention we would argue all the time because he couldn’t see that the photo was too warm or too cool or the purple tones in the image…sooo silly! On the other hand, I was terrible managing clients, probably still am…because I am so focused on the creative part of the business I wanted to just get right to it, no small talk, just what date did you have in mind and what do you want to wear? Nooo, now David takes care of all client communications and I can focus on creating content for our clients so that once they are ready to select a date or to pick outfits I can jump in with resources and delight them with custom plans, etc. We urge you to accept each other’s flaws and each other’s magic and really put them to use in the form of roles. Write out a long list of everything that needs to get done in your business and then pick what you each want to do or excel in and I promise it will be life changing and you’ll be wayyyy happier 🙂
and love – the most powerful thing in this world! Above all love each other and know when to forgive, when to talk about things, when to give a hug or lend a helping hand, when to give an unexpected office chair massage or a compliment – this goes for both personal and business. When your relationship and your business are rooted in love, everyone will see it and feel it and it will transmit into your client experience. I feel like this is the one thing that we’ve never really had to work hard at because there is genuinely a feeling of love and care for each other that is the most beautiful thing we have in our lives. We have been told so many times by so many clients, friends, and peers that its evident that we love each other and that that is the reason we work so well together and they’re totally right. We first have to love ourselves so that we can love eachother so that we can love our business so that we can love our clients! When love is the center of your marriage, everything that flows from it will be magical. Always remember to wake up grateful to have one another and go to bed happy to be able to share a life and business with your best friend. And last advice, hug in the morning and kiss eachother good night, no matter what kind of day you’ve had because if all you have is love, you already have soooo much.
If you haven’t yet read our story, you can read all about it in this blog post!