Making It Work (Together)

Chad & I at the 2012 CrossFit Games

Chad & I always wanted to work together.  When the opportunity presented itself in 2009, we jumped on it.   I left an amazing job with Paul Mitchell the School and joined Chad at his chiropractic clinic, Complete Health & Rehab.   It was an incredible leap of faith.  We had no idea how it would work.  Would we wind up wanting to kill each other?

Here we are, almost 4 years later, and we’re still working side by side.  We have Complete Health & Rehab, and we have been working tirelessly on building 1960 CrossFit.  Most couples cringe at the idea of spending 24/7 together, but it works for us.  We make an amazing team.  Our strengths and weaknesses complement one another perfectly.  The only problem is that the business partnership can overwhelm the marriage.

A word of advice for couples thinking about working together:

  1.  Communication is Key – I used to really suck at communicating my feelings.  I was one of those who always held everything in until a Mt. Vesuvius size eruption occurred.   I promise, holding the crap in is both unhealthy and a great waste of time and energy.  It’s so much easier to just tell your significant other the truth.  If my feelings get hurt, I address it immediately.  Half the time, Chad doesn’t even realize I’m upset.  Girls, our partners aren’t mind readers.  In fact, they can be pretty oblivious.  If you plan on working together, you can’t afford any unnecessary drama in the relationship.  You must communicate.
  2. Build Them Up – This one works both ways.   I don’t know a single person who responds well to being put down.  Tell your partner how much you appreciate them.  Show them.    The thing is, you both have to work on building each other up so neither one of you feels taken for granted.
  3. Take Boyfriend/Girlfriend Time – Remember when you first started dating and everything was fireworks and butterflies?  Well, that can go away really quickly when you work together.    Your relationship can become so consumed by the business that you forget what butterflies and fireworks feel like.   Be sure to take time away to reconnect on the level that brought you together in the first place.
  4. Sharing is Caring – Share the load of responsibility or resentment can quickly build.  Sit together and dole out responsibilities based on strengths.  If you both lack certain strengths, you’ll have to start exercising some new muscles.  When I first started working with Chad, I had to exercise my organization muscle.  I’m still a work in progress. LOL!
  5. Keep Your Priorities Straight – Our faith is everything to us.  One thing we learned along the way is that if God isn’t a priority in our relationship, it immediately starts to suffer.   We keep God first.  We put each other second.  The kids come third, and then come family and work.  As long as we keep the order straight, everything is smooth sailing.  It’s hard not to put work first when you’re constantly working; especially when you work together.  Keeping priorities balanced requires dedication.

Not every couple gets the opportunity to work together, but these five tidbits work for every relationship.  Just remember, relationships take work.  The minute you settle in and take it for granted is the minute the relationship falls apart.   Be sure to keep communication open while building your partner up.  Take time to nurture the romantic side of the relationship.  Share responsibilities while remembering to keep priorities straight.  There’s no such thing as a perfect union, but if you work hard at it, you can come pretty damn close.