How many times have your heard: “You should never go into business with family or friends.” Bert and I can’t count the number of times we heard this throughout our lives, yet we decided to ignore everyone who warned us. And, we’re happy to say we’ve proved each and every one of them wrong. We’re celebrating 30 years of marriage this year. Of course, we learned a thing or two along the way...
When something goes wrong, it’s so easy to accuse and criticize someone else for what’s happened. From time to time, we found ourselves criticizing one another for what happened, when it was really no one’s fault at all. We found out pretty quickly accusing one another for something out of our control is not the way to create a successful marriage or a run a successful business. With time, we learned to listen to one another and come up with a solution to the problem at hand--rather than accusing one another. And when we slip up at this, we can usually realize it before we get too far.
Show Your Appreciation
I think we can all agree this one can be difficult from time to time. It’s a lot easier to show our appreciation to friends when they’ve helped us through a tough time, but when it comes to showing our appreciation to our spouses, we tend to forget. We often get caught up in feeling that their support is “expected” in a marriage--and while that may be true, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to hear that our support is appreciated. Bert and I have learned that even though appreciation from one another may be expected, it’s always better to say it out loud. And we try to remember to do it.
Rely On One Another
You can’t do it all by yourself. And no one expects you to either. When you enter into a business with a loved one, you learn fairly quickly that you need to rely on one another. If you know us, you know we are different in many ways. Bert does a much better job with the day-to-day goings on in the store and the charity aspect, while my primary role is working with designers on the specific pieces we carry, managing those relationships, and collaborating with our advertising team. I’d like to think we are the perfect complement to one another, which helps make our business so successful. Even when times were tough and we’d start to second guess what we were doing, we relied on one another for encouragement. Owning a business can be difficult, but we can find security in each other. We’re always going to be there for each other.
Have Fun & Break out of the Norm
Don’t forget to have fun! There are so many things in this life that can get us down, leave us feeling stressed, not worthy… the list goes on and on. We’ve found the best remedy for this situation is: a little fun and lots of laughter. When life gets a stressful, take time to have fun with one another or make light of the situation. Most times, when we take a step back, we see that things aren’t really as bad as they seem. And, a little laughter can make a big difference.
Forgiveness Is Key
Finally… Always, always, always forgive. Forgiveness is the key to success in any relationship. There have been plenty of times when we’ve forgotten to show our appreciation to one another or we’ve criticized the other when what we really needed to do was encourage. That’s life. We’re human. We make mistakes. Remember all of this first, and then forgive because life is just too short. We're not perfect, but sure love each other. And, as we celebrate 30 years together we wish health, happiness and many years together to all the couples who have walked through our doors!