Want to work with your spouse? I do.

by Jeremy Robinson
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I am a husband, father, couplepreneur and business coach based in Toronto Canada. My primary role is to serve as the Chief Marketing Officer of SoYoung Inc. which was founded by my beautiful and talented wife, Catherine.

We didn’t always work together.

For 13 years I ran a design and digital marketing agency that worked with corporate clients like Franklin Templeton Investments and Intercontinental Hotels Group while also helping SoYoung develop its brand and web presence. Although we grew to 7 figures in revenues and had our fair share of successes, the agency ultimately failed, in part because I wasn’t able to find the right operational partner to complement my creative and strategic talents.

As well as leaving me without a job or income, the shuttering of my agency meant that SoYoung had just lost its marketing and website partner at a time when Catherine was struggling to take her business to the next level. After several years of promising but chaotic growth, SoYoung had some serious business issues to work through. Fortunately, I was now in an excellent position to help

Why being a couplepreneur works – for us.

One of my passions is reframing business challenges and designing systems to solve them. In my years as a business and marketing consultant I developed a toolkit of problem solving frameworks that have had now a big impact on SoYoung’s internal operation. Following systems, however – not so much my thing. I’m the classic entrepreneur who loves developing and shaping ideas, but loses interest in managing them.

Catherine, on the other hand,is driven by the desire to get things complete and in order. This means she is incredibly productive once the path forward is defined – but when too much chaos or ambiguity creeps in, she can become paralyzed. Fortunately, Catherine is very down to earth and has no qualms about asking for help when she needs it.

Coming into a business that my wife had started meant I had to be conscious of playing a supportive role. While I feel valued as an equal in SoYoung, I respect the fact that, as the founder, Catherine still owns more of the overall responsibility. So I have used the consulting model to inform my role – pointing out issues and opportunities, proposing solution frameworks – but leaving the final decision on what to prioritize up to Catherine.

family

Working together has improved our relationship.

When we were each running our own business, it was very hard to appreciate what the other person was going through – we just had too much of our own stuff to deal with!  Now that we share a common goal as couplepreneurs and I see her contribution first hand, I have a much greater understanding and respect for what Catherine does.  

In fact, Catherine and I have a perfect marriage….NOT!

While I won’t be sharing the details of every marital spat, my intention here is to promote radical transparency and authenticity around our business and couplepreneur relationship. So, in addition to plenty of lessons learned, you’ll get to see the sometimes messy, behind the scenes action as we work to achieve our long term goal of turning SoYoung into a global brand.
Do you have any experience living and working as a couplepreneur? Share it in the comments below!

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