The world of entrepreneurship is filled with excitement, challenges, and rewards. However, when business becomes intertwined with marriage, the dynamics can shift. This is my personal journey of owning a business with my husband Mark at such a young age, early in our relationship. I am highlighting the highs and lows it had on my marriage, the importance of valuing individual differences, the decision for my husband to step away from the everyday operations, and the transformation it brought to our relationship. But now the introduction of his presence in the business again with a different purpose and mindset: It is a story of resilience, growth, and ultimately, the unification that emerged from Mark stepping back and encouraging me to lead and returning as a partner and confidante.
The demands of entrepreneurship can seep into personal lives, blurring the boundaries between work and our personal life. Not only between Mark and I but between clients who are friends and friends who are clients. This forced into a place to clearly communicate with one another and setting healthy boundaries for all relationships. As we hit the point known as, “The Pit,” in our household, our faith in God and commitment to wanting to be better as individuals, unified us and restored our relationship, resulting in an abundant life, just as God promises.
Every individual brings their own strengths, weaknesses, and perspectives to a partnership. In the context of owning a business, these differences can become both a point of contention and a source of growth. Mark’s focus is always the dollar and my happiness, and mine is always the people. They go hand in hand and are equally important in business… It took both of us years to finally realize this. It was through the realization of the value of embracing these differences that Mark and I found a path forward.
After 15 years of navigating the challenges of business ownership together, we made the difficult but necessary decision for him to step away and let me clear a direct path for my business vision. Although it is equally his, I am the face of it all and he handles the back office. My responsibility was the people and his was the money. It was a pivotal moment that required deep introspection, honest conversations, and a commitment to the health of our marriage. Mark being an athlete his whole life only knows one approach. Do your job or run, do your job or get you ass chewed, do your job or don’t be here… Although this may be productive on the baseball field, it is not appropriate to yell, “Take the F%#*ing towels out!” Lol… This was the day the head coach “Me” suspended him from the salon for a week. It also was an eye opener that this was more stress than what it was worth.
It was in a time of prayer that it was revealed to me that it was the right decision to have him step away. God put it heavy on my heart that he needed, “relief,” and he would never ask for it. As we had a very hard conversation, the moment I said relief, I instantly saw a change in him that offered us hope for both our marriage and our business. So March of 2020, my co owner became my partner and no longer felt the pressure of making business decisions, but the pressure as my confidant and support system I needed to make one of the greatest business shifts in a time of recession.
By stepping away from a daily presence in the salon, my husband created space for personal growth and the exploration of new opportunities. This decision marked a turning point in my journey and allowed me to rediscover the essence of my relationship and see the equal value in the money and the people. That is in business I mean! Stepping away from the day-to-day operations of the salon did not mean the end of our involvement as a couple in business. Instead, it provided an opportunity for both of us to better support each other from afar. The physical distance allowed for individual growth, personal pursuits, and the development of new skills. It was a period of redefining roles, finding balance, and nurturing my relationship in a different capacity. Now we could go to bed every night as husband and wife and not wake up to awkward festering business issues to resolve. From this vantage point, we were able to offer each other support and understanding, fostering a stronger bond.
The 15 years spent owning a business together taught me invaluable lessons about the intricacies of marriage and entrepreneurship. It taught me that the journey is not always easy, but with perseverance, understanding, and a shared vision, it can lead to personal and professional growth. Because of our faith based foundation, we were unified and committed to encourage and support one another. It reinforced the importance of open communication, maintaining individual identities, and prioritizing the health of my relationship above all else. By taking the time to evaluate my priorities and make the necessary changes, we transformed our marriage into a source of strength and support.
During Mark’s absence, my new role forced me in a place to review numbers, make adjustments and still take care of the people! I now wore all the hats but felt the support I needed from a true partner. Now the decision to remodel or bring in another product line or hire another employee was made simple when I was dissecting the numbers and accessing the facts to make these business decisions. They were no longer emotional decisions but pragmatic ones..
Now that the business owners have a clear view of the business’ foundation, the vision for the future is more obtainable as we assess the necessary action to move towards the goal! The opportunities for us as a team are endless and our mindset is massive growth, not average growth. Together with a clear foundation and clear vision, we can achieve it all.
Mark is entering the salon ownership role as an entrepreneur aligned with a partner valuing all the same things. Do you see it took us 15 years to figure this out, experiencing so many growing pains, life lessons, and just hard moments but we are better for it. It did not defeat us but helped us to realize the power of our unified partnership and work even harder to do it better!
Our story serves as a testament to the resilience of love and the transformative power of stepping back to prioritize what truly matters. Our businesses are in a position now that we have never experienced before. They are scaling to levels we could have never imagined but that is all due to the moments of truth we experienced and our obedience and surrendering to God’s plan. His work is clear in our life, and as we give up control and allow him to truly lead, success has been abundant, and we are beyond blessed. Although we experience personal growth through this process that is constantly evolving, we are here to witness the growth both personally, and professionally. We have made a lot of the same business choices many other people make. Ignoring facts to avoid conflict or hurt feelings, but had to come to that realization and overcome the feelings with grace to make the best choices for the future of ourselves and our businesses. God is in control, not us, and we are here with a servant’s heart to work according to his plan.
I only hope that through this message, you feel encouraged and loved and know we don’t always make the best professional choices because of our feelings, but truly in the end we were cheating ourselves and our loved ones. But no more! We are still standing together only because of our faith in Christ and obedience. Surrendering what I want and submitting to what God wants, changed everything for us.
We approach our life in a different perspective, we choose each other out of want, and desire, not out of need. These conditions changed everything for us and are a constant reminder this life together is a choice for both parties not an obligation.
God is good all the time, all the time God is good.