Building a Business with your Spouse is something we think couples should highly consider if they have a business they are both passionate about. We are Bethany & Luc Barrette, the owners of Grey Loft Studio. We have been working together for 5 years now and it’s been a wild ride. A lot of people have asked us “what it’s like to be in business with your spouse”. Why not answer this in a blog so you can get to see how we fit so well in our relationship and in our business. As you can imagine in any relationship there are ups and downs, and the same thing applies to business. We are here to share some answers about the dynamic between us and how we lean on each other to get the best results.
1. Do your unique skill sets complement each other or compete with each other?
Our relationship is one that we clearly understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Without understanding them we could in no way be successful. Being business savvy and having a passion for sales is where Bethany clearly thrives. She studied Sociology at University, so her degree comes in handy especially when it comes to understanding clients. Playing each other’s strengths has been so key in our success. Bethany is the visionary, thinker, and planner. She dreams of what life will be like in 3-5-10 years and likes to fill up the “To-Do” list accordingly.
Luc’s strengths are focusing on a lot of the tedious repetitive administrative tasks. Having a clear template or set of things to easily check off a list is where he thrives. Being that he is a closet creative, his ability to mimic or recreate things his own way is also a huge skill set. Give him a new thing to learn and he can easily digest or problem solve in an instant. Clear instructions and deliverables are key to his success. He is also the grounding wire. Calm, cool, and collected is the way that things always happen in Luc’s world. He loves planning what today and tomorrow will look like and gets it done. Together we balance each other by taking the big ideas and breaking it down into achievable tasks.
We don’t always agree with each other when it comes to priorities. Bethany likes to plan her week around deliverables and doesn’t care about dedicating X amount of time per day/week. Meanwhile, Luc loves to take a project and commit a certain amount of hours per day/week and stick to it. Bringing a middle ground can be challenging but also rewarding because we both get things done that we want to check off the list.
2. Do you have similar professional AND personal goals?
Building a Business with your Spouse means that we don’t always see eye to eye with our goals at the beginning. As mentioned above, Bethany can think of grand goals that can extend years into the future. This makes it difficult for Luc to break down into achievable goals that can be done today or tomorrow. It can take us days to find a balance between the long-term and short-term goals. Sadly, this isn’t always a success but we’ve found ways to make it work. One of the ways we do this is by dedicating time each week to make sure we are balancing out a mix of things we both want to get done.
We handle our personal life the same way and it can be frustrating but also healthy and real. If we always 100% agreed with each other on everything we wouldn’t be growing. The important thing to remember is that in the end, we want to be successful, despite not seeing eye to eye. Finding a compromise and getting back in the “flow” of working helps us finish current projects and opens up more opportunities to take on new ones.
4. Are you both equally passionate about your business?
Bethany has been the driving force of Grey Loft Studio (formally Bethany Amanda Photography) for the whole duration. The same thing can’t be said about Luc… until 2018. We have worked together on weddings and other projects since 2015 but it was primarily the Bethany show. Until recently, Luc was more of a backup photographer for those first years of shooting weddings. Bethany offered an existing client videography on top of their photography package and told Luc he needed to figure it out. A flame was ignited in him that evolved into the videographer he is today. Sometimes a little pressure can go a long way.
It is extremely important that business partners find their passion and energy to get up every morning and stay up late every night. We don’t do this because we have to, we do this because we want to. It excites us to imagine what we are building and the legacy we will leave our children.
5. Do you trust and respect each others’ skills?
It goes without saying that we have to trust each other to do what we do. Being a successful entrepreneur and a leader in the local wedding industry is hard work and we have to lean on one another to make it happen. That being said, we have our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to different skills around photography, videography, customer service, and so on. Building a business with your spouse, through experience, we have learned what we can do without consulting our partner because we have confidence in the result.
We believe having that level of trust is transferable from relationship to business. Without it, we wouldn’t be successful parents, spouses, partners, or coworkers. Let’s just say being together all the time takes a special kind of bond and not everyone can do it. If you’re thinking of going into business with your husband or wife, we strongly recommend that you sit down and go through these questions. The questions may reveal that you’ll be great, or not a good fit.
If you want to learn more about how we work together you can always check out this blog: Running a Husband & Wife Team which includes a PODCAST episode where Bethany interviews Luc on the dynamics. It’s a fun way to really get to know us!