Reed and I met while working together at SUCCESS magazine in Dallas. Reed was an executive on the business end and I was the columns editor for the magazine. Fast forward several years and now we are married, living in the mountain town of Asheville, N.C., each with our own home-based business, and with the inspiration of our twin toddler daughters Sydney and Riley.
Reed is still on the business end—doing strategic marketing and intellectual property management for speakers, authors, and publishers. I’m still on the creative side—as an editorial director, writer, and social media strategist for clients who just happen to be speakers and authors. We could make it simple and say we are both in publishing, but one of the secrets to our success is keeping our businesses separate. Separate doesn’t mean we don’t help each other out. If I need to analyze marketing data or someone to tell me my idea is fabulous (or terrible), Reed is my go-to source. If he needs creative ideas or a writing polish, he can get either from me fast.
Having distinct boundaries helps us work together in harmony. We don’t tangle up our work projects. Just like couples who work outside the home, we really don’t share about our day until the day is almost over and we make dinner together. We use our unique strengths to help each other without blurring the lines of business and marriage. Someone once told me that you can’t have a power imbalance and love, so we live by that wisdom.
We live by the principles of what successful entrepreneurs do differently:
Reed and I have a shared vision for how we define success.
We put family first. We love the flexibility in working from home and owning our schedule. We get toddler snuggles at break time as our nanny watches our girls while we work. While busy work schedules tend to rule the day, we can choreograph our days how we choose.
We live on purpose. Check in with us on any given day and we will have some joy on the calendar to look forward to, Maybe it’s a trip, a concert, or a dinner to a new restaurant, but we purposefully plan our joy. When we are happy, we are more productive!
We are both planners and it’s one of the things I love about our relationship most. We think up ideas and sync up our calendars so our days reflect the kind of life we want to live.
The best part is we are on the same side and have each other’s back so we can each thrive as fearless and confident entrepreneurs.
SANDRA BIENKOWSKI BILBRAY is a nationally published writer and owner of The Media Concierge. She is a regular contributor to Live Happy magazine, and her work has appeared in SUCCESS and other national magazines.
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