I’d like to start by saying I love my wife, and we are best friends and partners, truly. She is also one of the most talented and ambitious people I know. We truly enjoy, appreciate and compliment one another. We are also very realistic and know that everything in life takes work.
We both live by a simple relationship philosophy: spend too much time with someone and it will put a strain on your relationship. We don’t attempt to control one another, place very little expectations on one another, and generally try to be cool.
With all that in mind, we co-own our company Elite Strategies which is a digital marketing agency about 3 miles from our house in Delray Beach, FL. I founded the company in 2009 then about 2 years later she left her job to come work with us, being that marketing was her background. She thought about doing some stay at home mom jobs within the affiliate marketing sector but really wanted to remain in marketing.
Our company has about 5-10 people that work in our head office at any given time, and a dozen other remote workers scattered out throughout the world.
As much as my wife and I get along, we are 2 different people when it comes to our personality.
- is very good with people
- like working on projects
- am technical
We split up the duties of the company. We both manage day to day operations however she handles all of the marketing, sales and branding while I handle all things technical and and operational.
How We Do It
It all comes down to schedule. We both share an office so there is no way we can be physically in the office at the same time. We are no Bill and Melinda Gates but we tried to take a page out of their book.
Her schedule: She opens the office at 9am and stays until the early afternoon. She comes home and works from home until 5-6pm.
My schedule: I work overnight and sleep late into the morning. I come into the office when she leaves and work a few hours until 5-6pm.
My wife really oversees most of the project management and sales, so it is really important for her to be in the office during those morning hours.
This way we both “meet in the middle” and get to spend time with each other and our son every day. In addition I modify my sleep schedule during the weekends so we can spend a full day together.
We also aren’t’ very strict about this. If I need the office early she will dip out, and if she has a late meeting I will work from home all day. Today for instance I didn’t even go in because she had such a heavy work load that required her to be in the office.
Project Management and Communication
Skype really plays a huge role in our company and in our professional relationship. Communication in any relationship is key, so staying connected throughout the day on Skype is very key.
For all things work related we use Basecamp, as does everyone else in our company. This is where we store pertinent information, notes for reports, some credentials, rich media, and other random stuff.
Anything urgent is handled via phone call.
Anything that will require some back and forth communication, but isn’t very important is handled via Skype.
Any tasks or slower conversions are done over email.
6pm Work Talk Cutoff Time
From 6pm until bedtime, we do not talk about work. Sure, emergencies crop up and have to be handled but we really had to redefine what an “emergency was.” Examples of a non-emergency:
- project questions / changes
- general correspondence
- check-in type of phone calls
Examples of a work emergency:
- website goes down
- website crashes
- employee accident /safety / emergency
The good thing about this is that once she goes to bed, I’m able to pick up any support tickets and “start the work day” and pass things off to the morning shift each day. It also allows me to communicate with folks in the UK / Asia that are on different time zones and work on my affiliate campaigns which require a lot of uninterrupted focus. From a productivity standpoint, it really works out quite well.
Again, we aren’t perfect but we established this early on so that we aren’t constantly interrupting each other with emails because beleive me, they never stop.
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