May 3, 2017
People often ask how I was able to start a business with my spouse and my simple response is “it was a God thing.” He gives us the patience and wisdom to get through each day. He blessed us both with different strengths that benefit the business and our family. No matter our differences the one thing we always agree on is our vision for 196 Events. We value each other’s input and feedback, we trust each other’s decision making and have a mutual passion for what we do.
This past weekend our Pastor preached a message about vision. You may be given a vision but not called to fulfill it on your own. God supplies you with the necessary provision and support to complete the task put before you. The vision for 196 Events was given to Devail but not as a solo mission…as his helpmate, I was essential to carrying it out.
Pastor Jeremy referenced Exodus 17 when Moses and Joshua were leading the Israelites in a battle against the Amalekite army. While Joshua was actually engaged in physical battle with the Amalekites in the valley, Moses did just as God instructed and stood on the top of the hill with his staff in hand. As long as Moses held his hands up, the Isrealites would prevail, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites prevailed. Although Moses was not in the physical battle, without him doing his part and holding up the staff of God, Joshua didn’t stand a chance. Devail is definitely my Joshua, out on the battlefield working to provide for our family and I’m his Moses providing him emotional and spiritual support.
In addition to knowing our roles and supporting each other by “staying in our lanes”, timing is the next important factor to consider when going into business with your spouse. It’s not how many children you have or whether you rent or own your home. More important than those things is the strength of your relationship. How is your communication? If you are currently having major communication issues its not the right time to start a business together. This would have been a very different post had I written it 8 years ago. (Title: “Top Ten Reasons to NEVER Work With Your Spouse”) At that time Devail and I had only been married 2 years and we didn’t share our visions with one another and we had no idea how to effectively communicate. Instead, he went one way pursuing his dreams and I went the opposite way pursuing mine. While I was opening a hair salon he was working on his first Dj business. Not to mention we were both working 9-5’s with our 1st born still in diapers. I’m sure you can imagine the conflicts. Thinking back—it kind of reminded me of watching our 4 year old play soccer. She and her teammates constantly battle for the ball while all the parents are screaming “same team, same team!” Inevitably, they end up blocking their own teammate from scoring or, at the very least, make it harder for them to score. I’m sure God felt that way as he watched us pull our little family in different directions. We were guilty of “battling over the ball” and blocking each other from reaching our goal. We both needed to reach a spiritual and emotional maturity as well as learn to communicate effectively. None of that came easy but it’s not impossible.
So, if you are thinking of starting a business with your spouse: