Working With Your Spouse

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Adam and I started working together full-time in May of 2013. At that point, we had been married for four years and we had both been working from home. The first year was hard. Suddenly we were solely responsible for 100% of our income. We had to communicate more than ever. I’m an introvert. He’s an extrovert. He’s easily distracted. I can focus to the point where I isolate/ignore others. We had months where we made more than enough money. The next month would be really tight. We had no processes and honestly…not many goals. If your goal is just “to survive,” then it’s not specific enough.

So here are four things that I’ve learned after working with my husband full-time for (almost) two years:

  1. He’s more important than our business. I’m still learning this. There have been many moments where I put our clients before Adam. In the toughest times, I let my pride go before our relationship. If our business fails, that’s okay. Our marriage won’t.
  2. In order for us to both exercise our strengths, we have to hit friction first. I have my own strengths and weaknesses (so does he). If we went with my opinion (or his) every time without working through it all…we’d never compromise or try anything new. We usually hit a bit of friction while we’re working towards the perfect hybrid. That’s okay.
  3. We have to schedule meetings. It feels so lame and it feels like we should naturally be talking all day but if we don’t schedule meetings (and prioritize them like meetings with other people) then we don’t talk about the important stuff.
  4. At the end of a long, frustrating day…sometimes the best thing is to forget about it until tomorrow. Our work/home life balance will never be completely separate. We can, however, try to keep things a little normal. When we get home from our studio, it’s easy to keep talking business. We still need to date, flirt, get freaky. You get it.

This topic…to be continued.

Photo by M.Newsom Photography

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12 Comments
  • Emily Crall
    Posted at 09:54h, 03 February Reply

    This is so true! My husband works full time, but also helps me on weekends shooting weddings and I feel like so much of this can be applied to even that…because communication and commitment is the most important. Marriage first.

    • Allison
      Posted at 15:09h, 03 February Reply

      It sure can. That’s so awesome that you have him to help for weddings! I had Adam come to one of my first weddings that I shot and it was such a confidence booster.

  • Sarah
    Posted at 12:57h, 03 February Reply

    I love finding other couples that work together! Me and my husband work for a company together, but I’ll admit I’ve dreamed of branching off and having our own business someday. I’m excited to see more from this series, super valuable advice!

    • Allison
      Posted at 15:10h, 03 February Reply

      You should do it! It’s the best. I hope to share more as I learn it :)

  • Kathleen Martini
    Posted at 13:21h, 03 February Reply

    I love this, and let me just say that I’ve been living under a rock for a while and am just now discovering your new layout. I love it!

    • Allison
      Posted at 15:10h, 03 February Reply

      Aw thanks Kathleen!!

  • Kelly Brito
    Posted at 17:31h, 03 February Reply

    My husband is zero creative, so working with him doesn’t happen often. He has helped me with a few photoshoots and he’s really great at that. I always worked better alone, so I’m kinda glad I don’t work with him. He’s great, but I’m a pain in the butt. :)

    • Allison
      Posted at 23:12h, 10 February Reply

      That’s been the hardest part – learning to work better WITH him (vs not alone) haha.

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    Posted at 11:04h, 04 February Reply

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  • Meg @ Adventures in Verdance
    Posted at 12:05h, 04 February Reply

    This is all so true — my boyfriend and I run a photography business together and it takes a whole lot of cooperation. Friction is inevitable, but we’ve achieved so much together. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Allison
      Posted at 23:13h, 10 February Reply

      It’s so true. As long as we all know that friction isn’t UNHEALTHY – it’s ok!

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