When I got married, I knew two things for sure: That I wanted to be married to my man for life and that It would take some hard work. The majority of our friendship and dating relationship was long distance and that in itself was hard enough. And when I say hard, I don’t mean bad or tough, but hard as in constant, abiding, forever kind of of hard. In 10 years when your bodies and minds are changing and different from what they were when you got married, you must choose to invest in and love your spouse. When your kids are grown and long gone, you must choose to serve and be loyal to your spouse.
Before we started dating and before I got married, I knew there was a high possibility that I would be moving away from my childhood home and into a new city far-ish away. And that I would be pursuing a new profession/career. I have known school my entire life. From early memories of my mother teaching kindergarten, baton lessons, and a myriad of after-school activities, I progressed through school into a teacher training program that would groom me in high school to go to college to be a teacher. I’ve always loved 2nd grade. I loved the two years I taught amongst 7-8 year olds. They’re so cute!
When I moved, I decided that now was the time to build my own business. I love teaching. But something has always been pulling at me to take this unpaved path. The path of building a marriage and a business at the same time. Building a business requires investment and sometimes sacrifice. So does marriage.
If you’re familiar with either of these things, you should know that they take precedence over other things in your life sometimes. If you’re building a business, that extra $50 goes toward gear, supplies, or even invested for the future over getting organic groceries to cook with at home or going out to eat at a fun restaurant. If you’re married and you invest in your relationship with your spouse, you choose them, every time. My husband and I recently decided to forego a music practice with the band in order to go out on a date. He’s finishing up school and all his free time is spent writing papers and studying. We needed that date. It was so refreshing to get out and do something together. We ate at a fun little Jewish deli, hit up a music and surf shop, then saw a movie. I even got to wear my movie theatre shawl I crocheted just for visits to the movies! Yay!
If both these things are important, it’s a fact that you’ll have to choose between one or the other sometimes. I’m a friend of Jesus, so I’ll always consider my marriage first. But here are some tips and lessons learned on balancing a new marriage and a new business.
- Choose your marriage first.
- This is simple to me. After I pray about decisions and choices, I think about my husband and how these choices affect our name, future, and well being. For example, I personally don’t shoot too many boudoir portraits because I don’t feel like they add to my vision of what my business is supposed to be. I want to honor my husband, leave no offense, and aid to the trust of his name. I’ve seen some GORGEOUS boudoir portraits that are the height of class and taste, but bras, undies, and stilettos don’t quite match up with my vision over here at KTP. 🙂
- Share your growth and dreams with your spouse.
- I am joined and bound to my man so of course I want him to get up in ma’ business! *sassy finger* 😀 I recently shared with him my goals and refined vision for the next few years of my business. It feels so good to have him know what I’m working towards and not be left out of the loop, especially when my tendency is to just hop online, lock myself away in my office and work the days away.
- It’s ok to say no.
- A while back, when my priorities were a bit blurred, I had a potential client who wanted to book with me at the last minute. I was already committed to a family trip that weekend with my husband and family, which wasn’t too far from where we would stay. Hubs had even encouraged me to book the client and do the shoot. But in my heart, I knew that wasn’t the way I wanted to run my business. In an earlier post, I stated that booking with me wasn’t an instant service, and more an experience. I love relationships and I don’t want to shuffle people in and out of the door. So I held true to that value. Sure it was about $150 I missed out on, but in the end, I rested peacefully in the right to say no. You should too.
- It’s ok to say yes.
- I’m currently preparing for a big photoshoot that is completely different than my target clientele. It’s not the first one of the type I’ve done, but it doesn’t quite line up with my love of engagements and couples. It is more of a provision from the Lord to meet my needs before I hit a busy season. (Thank you, Jesus!) So I knew that it was the right choice, because it provides for my husband and I, and it is for the right kind of people who love and care for my husband and I. 🙂
- Consider your spouse’s boundaries.
- So, as a photographer, I am constantly thinking about what to photograph next to help with consistency and build audience trust. I take my camera places and snap photos of anything and everyone. Most often, I’m tempted to take pictures of my hubs because he’s cute and he’s there! But to the Lord’s irony, he has never been a great fan of having his photo taken, much less posted online. He’s a wonderful, simple kind of guy. I love him so very much. So to that, I’ll condone respecting your spouse’s boundaries when it comes to business. It can be so engulfing. Be careful you don’t use up all your spouse’s energy and investment in you just to further yourself or your business. (Which is different from your spouse actively and enthusiastically diving into the business with you…) LOL!
What kind of things have you learned about business or marriage? Both? Share your own tips and advice below on building a business and/or a marriage!